Kids of jailed parents in Delhi to get better welfare

State forum for protecting children’s rights plans change in rules in schemes for children of incarcerated parents.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Commission of Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) is planning to recommend changes in the financial sustenance, education and welfare schemes for children of incarcerated parents.

These changes, aimed to make sure that the children of the incarcerated parents do not suffer, were discussed in meeting with the chairman of Child Welfare Committees and officials from the Department of Women & Child Development.  

Highlighting discrepancies in the financial assistance schemes of the government for children of the imprisoned parents, the need for few amendments was discussed during the meeting. These amendments, to ensure social, emotional and academic growth of the children, were discussed and will be sent to the Department of Social Welfare for approval. The department is under minister Rajendra Pal Gautam. 

As per the minutes of the meeting, there was a consensus on a need to amend the existing rules of residence eligibility of the beneficiary. According to the current rules only those parents who have lived more than five years in Delhi are eligible for the scheme. It denies assistance to children whose parents may be arrested but who moved to Delhi less than five years ago. 

According to the DCPCR, there is no reason that children’s welfare should be dependent on the date of their parents’ migration to Delhi. Secondly, proving residency of five years can be intimidating particularly for families belonging to the economically weaker section. There is also a plan to allow a single incarcerated parent being eligible for the financial and other welfare schemes, which was not the case earlier. The last time changes were made in the incarcerated parents’ children welfare guidelines was back in 2014.

“The scheme is currently applicable only if both parents are arrested or the surviving parent is arrested. This is problematic in instances where one of the parents is not arrested, but the arrest of the other has triggered a series of misfortunes for the rest of the family including the children,” informed a DCPCR official.  Another point that was raised at the meeting was the income eligibility. The rules state that the eligibility criteria requiring the annual income of the incarcerated parent from all sources to be under `2 lakh. It was suggested to drop this limit and the scheme be made free of any income limit.

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The New Indian Express