CHENNAI: Nearly three dozen children’s homes were asked to shut down in the city in the first week of May as they were not registered under the Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act. A total of 1,250 children from 34 homes were rehabilitated from the temporarily closed homes into some of the 49 registered homes where there reportedly is spare capacity.
According to the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Chennai, there were 83 private homes in the city of which 49 were registered under the JJ Act. Of the remaining 34, 28 have applied for registration while the remaining six have probably shut down. “We also obtained a letter from the homes stating that they were closing temporarily. They cannot host children till they are registered,” said a CWC official.
While most of the closed homes have applied for registration, there is no guarantee they will get it. Factors such as sanitation, number of toilets, space per person, facilities and infrastructure would be taken into account along with the children’s version of the treatment they get at the institution.
While getting a registration won’t be tough for most homes, they will get approval to host only a certain number of children. “If they have a dormitory with 40 beds and only two bathrooms and toilets, we will give approval only for 16 children. If they have enough toilets and not enough moving space, then we will give approval based on the space,” the official said and added that they would factor in the facility that is less before sanctioning the maximum number of children they can house.
The officials said they were taking action against the illegal homes now as during summer most children in such homes were sent to their guardian’s house for vacation. “Children with no guardians usually stay in Government homes while only those with legal guardians are allowed to go to private homes,” the official said adding that this reduced the number of children who had to be rehabilitated.
Factors for approval
While most of the closed homes have applied for registration, there is no guarantee they will get it. Factors such as sanitation, number of toilets, space per person, facilities, infrastructure and treatment to kids would be considered.