All is not well at juvenile, children’s homes: Report - The New Indian Express

All is not well at juvenile, children’s homes: Report

Published: 20th December 2012 09:22 AM

Last Updated: 20th December 2012 09:22 AM

Nearly 42 per cent of administrative and teaching posts are vacant. There are no cooks and counsellors. There is a scarcity of medical staff to attend to emergencies.

This is the state of affairs of Juvenile Observation Homes and Children’s Homes across the State.

These revelations were made by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority (KSLSA) which has prepared a report after inspecting a number of Juvenile Observation Homes and Children’s Homes following directions from the High Court.

The homes are severely understaffed and deplorable with gaping vacancies in administrative and teaching posts. They are supposed to provide temporary shelter for juveniles in conflict with law, but are not in a position to handle medical emergencies and fire emergencies.

KSLSA Member-Secretary V V Angadi told Express that 393 administrative and teaching posts are vacant as against the total strength of 944 in the 16 observation homes. The posts include superintendents, guards, caretakers, cooks and trained teachers.

“There are only 43 trained teachers as against the total allotted posts of 95. Hardly 17 cooks are managing 16 kitchens as against the sanctioned 78 posts. The children still need an additional 29 counsellors,” Angadi said.

“The Department of Women and Child Development is yet to streamline these homes. The shortage of medical, administrative and teaching staff is impacting the lives of thousands of children living in these homes,” Angadi added.

There are no observation homes in 14 districts including Bidar, Bijapur, Chikballapur, Chikmagalur, Chamarajnagar, Gadag and Haveri. Chitradurga, Shimoga and Mangalore do not have juvenile homes for girls and Bangalore Rural has no juvenile home at all.

A majority of these homes also do not maintain health profiles and mental health records of its inmates which is a mandate under the Karnataka Rules, 2010.

The inspections, which also included a check on the functioning of the Juvenile Justice Boards (JJB), revealed that almost 1,526 cases are pending for disposal as on March this year across the State.

Almost 54.5 per cent of these cases are before the Bangalore Juvenile Justice Board, the report said.

 “We have recommended that two more Juvenile Justice Boards to be set up in Bangalore because one board is not enough to handle the number of cases and dispose them of on time,” Angadi said.

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