Time for Thorough Scan of Orphanages in Kerala

Published: 04th June 2014 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th June 2014 12:45 AM   |  A+A-

It’s been almost a fortnight since 456 children, aged between 5 and 15, hailing from Jharkhand and Bihar, landed in Palakkad raising questions regarding the manner in which young children were being herded across the country, ostensibly as future inmates of certain orphanages in Kerala. It later emerged that out of this lot, 186 children had been in an orphanage in Kozhikode for over a year and had left for Jharkhand in April and while returning brought another 280 children along to join the orphanage. After scrutiny, it was found that only 186 children had proper documents. Clearly, the rot runs deep as the next day, 123 more children arrived from West Bengal, bound for another orphanage in Malappuram.

The destitution certificates issued by the village offices in Jharkhand, birth certificates and the orphanage admission forms came in the same handwriting. To put things in perspective, one needs to look at the economics behind the running of orphanages. There is also the little matter of a grant the state government gives to orphans—Rs1,000 a month per child, in addition to free ration and a dole for education. It’s another matter that the law does not permit giving such dole to orphans from other states.

In a state that turns to migrants from other states for labour, it seems a short cut to find orphans, a category in short supply in Kerala, has been stumbled upon. According to the state police, it is a clear case of human trafficking as there were no proper documents. It must be remembered that India is part of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child which recognises the rights of the child. With the state home minister himself terming it a case of human trafficking, the bonafide intentions of the agencies running the orphanages have come under a cloud. The onus is on them to clear the air.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp