THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala State Youth Commission has come out against the adamant stand taken by the District Administration with regard to converting the Sri Chitra Home into a residential school, stating that such a move was illegal and unethical.
Raising serious the allegation that the land of the Sri Chitra Home was being handed over for building a shopping complex and business houses, Commission Chairperson R V Rajesh said that the Commission will submit a report to the government against this. He said that the Poor Home cannot be converted into a residential school under the Orphanage and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act, which would only amount to violation of the law.
Coming out against the move to shift the inmates who are 18 years of age, Rajesh said that it was illegal and as per the Orphanage and Charitable Homes Act, the inmates cannot be shifted or rehabilitated until they are fit to earn his/her livelihood or otherwise fit to be discharged. ‘’While conducting a sitting at the Home, the inmates said that they were not ready to move out,’’ he said.
When pointed out that the District Collector had denied the shifting of the inmates, Rajesh alleged that the administration was for converting the orphanage into a juvenile home. ‘’The authorities are planning to shift the inmates in a phased manner,’’ he said.
Rajesh also said that the residential school was not practical as five schools were already functioning in a one-km radius.
Alleging that the prime property was being converted into a shopping complex, he said that the administration has now come up with the proposal of residential school after protests were raised against the earlier proposal of TRIDA for a shopping complex. ‘’In the name of residential school, the administration is for handing over the prime land to business groups,’’ he said.
Rajesh said that a fund of around Rs one crore is available with the Home and it should be used judiciously for the welfare of the inmates. ‘’We are not against providing the maximum facility to the inmates. But it should not be by surpassing the law,’’ he said.
The proposal to convert Sri Chitra Home into a residential school was taken up in the meeting held on May 21, which was attended by Minister for Social Welfare M K Muneer, Health Minister V S Sivakumar, District collector Biju Prabhakar and other officials.