DHENKANAL: Poor security and other facilities haunt children’s homes in Dhenkanal district. No wonder there are reports, though isolated, of incidents of inmates deserting the homes. A case in point is the children’s home Mamata Sishu Griha on the Hataroad here.
Children’s homes are supposed to ensure child’s right to development, protection and participation. Ironically, this children’s home is not well equipped with proper infrastructure and protection measures.
The Mamata Sishu Griha houses 24 girl children in 5 to 15 years age group. Though the government had handed over the children’s home to a number of NGOs for maintenance, irregular sanction of funds has affected its functioning. Some of these NGOs are ISWO, NAMI and Jeevan Jyoti.
For 30 years, the home was functional under the office of Additional District Medical Officer (Public Health). In 2005-06, the home was handed over to some NGOs following intervention of the then Collector Usha Padhee for better services in health and hygiene, food and education.
At present, the structure with an asbestos roof stands dilapidated. For 26 girls, there are just two lavatories of which, one is damaged.
Even as the government should sanction funds to the home every month for maintenance and other expenses, it is not done as funds worth ` 1.27 lakh sanctioned on several occasions have remained unutilised for a year-and-a-half.
Besides, `2.5 lakh was sanctioned by the government last year for repair of the building, but the amount was insufficient.
Students alleged that apart from lack of infrastructure, they have to deal with bad food served to them and absence of healthcare facilities.
Caretaker of the home and ISWO secretary Puspanjali Jena said she had informed the authorities concerned about the state-of-affairs in the home but to no avail.
“The only problem is that we do not get funds on time,” she said.