BHUBANESWAR: As many as 57 inmates of a children’s home have been rescued by the Child Welfare Committee of the Khurda district from Chandrasekharpur area. The children, including minors, are now in the custody of Ruchika Childline.
The children’s home, Shree Anand Mission, located near Damana Square of the City, was apparently operating without a valid permission from the Woman and Child Development Department.
Curiously, it had been running for the last 13 years in this fashion.
After Khurda Collector Roopa Mishra asked the CWC to inspect the children’s home, the plight of the inmates came to light. The children rescued included 44 boys and 13 girls although the total inmate strength was 107, CWC member Benudhar Senapti said. The rest had gone home.
Sridhar Satpathy, in-charge of the shelter home, has been detained by the police and could face charges for violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.
During the inspection, the CWC team found that the inmates were living in extremely unhygienic conditions. There were about a dozen rooms for the 107 inmates with eight to 10 being accommodated in each room of 10 ft x 10 ft. For all the 100-odd inmates, there was just one toilet while bathing space was in the open.
Most of the inmates belonged to Kandhamal and Gajapati districts. While the inspecting team could not find details of addresses of the inmates and their nativity, most of them had parents. Just four children were orphans.
Senapati said the management admitted to not having applied for permission since it was sure that meeting the norms would not be easy given the living conditions.
A call on the future of the children would be taken by the CWC chairperson on Thursday. They were produced before the CWC on Wednesday.
Those who have parents could be sent back home or to tribal hostels. The Committee would also decide the future of the orphans.