NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed shock after going through two surveys which showed a huge discrepancy in the number of children admitted in child care institutions.
The survey conducted during 2016-17 by NGO Childline, on the directions of the Ministry of Women and Child Development, estimates the number of children in over 9,500 child care institutions at 4.3 lakh. On the other hand, the Central government, with the help of state government statistics, has put the number at 2.6 lakh children in around 8,600 institutions.
“What happened to these two lakh children? How many of them are missing, because we can see that the number of adoption is negligible. We are shocked to see all this,” a bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur said, adding that it was distressed to see that children had been reduced to sheer numbers.“Children have a heart and soul too. They are being treated as just numbers... this is a very serious issue,” it remarked while proposing setting up of national-level and state-level committees for monitoring of shelter homes so that incidents such as the sexual assault of children in Muzaffarpur and Deoria do not recur.