THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The District Administration, which has invited criticism for its move to convert Sri Chitra Home into a residential school, has made it clear that it would go ahead with the proposal despite all protests.
‘’The Child Rights Commission and the government is for the proposal. We will go ahead as per the guidelines. The residential school is proposed on the 49 cents of land adjacent to the Vanchi Poor Home,’’ District Collector Biju Prabhakar said.
Stating that the residential school is different from Sri Chitra Home, he said that they will be two entities and the main purpose of the residential school is to improve the facilities for the inmates of the Sri Chitra Home.
Refuting the allegations that the inmates above 18 years of age were being shifted from the orphanage, he said that there was no such move to shift the inmates. ‘’The working inmates should have to move out. And there is no proposal to shift any of the other inmates,’’ he said.
Agreeing that the living conditions of the inmates should have to be improved and the security was a great concern, the Collector said that some inmates are seen to go out in the morning for work or treatment or some other things and come back in the night. Some of them are studying in the other schools nearby, which all increase the risk of security, he said and added that the residential school concept would definitely change the entire situation.
On the allegation that the conversion of the Poor Home to a ‘residential school’ would breach the clause in the Orphanage and Other Charitable Homes (Supervision and Control) Act under which the Home is registered, Prabhakar said that everything will be done as per the guidelines.
He also said that there was disparity between working inmates and those who were not. ‘’It is alleged that the working inmates are given more facilities like special foods and other things,’’ he said.
Along with the proposal of a residential school, the Collector said that there was a plan to deposit Rs 3 lakh in the name of each student. He said that a profiling of each of the inmates will be done to find out their aptitude and then they would be sent for higher studies.
Lashing out against those who have come forward against the residential school proposal, Prabhakar said that all the allegations and concerns were being raised only at a time when the government was for giving a facelift to the Sri Chitra Home. ‘’Where were all these people, including the Kerala State Youth Commission, who have now come forward against the proposal? They should tell us what they have done for the inmates of the Home,’’ he said.