KURNOOL: Shishu Gruha, where abandoned children in the age group of 0 to 5 are provided shelter till their adoption, in the district is crying for attention. The dilapidated building leaks when it rains. It does not have even a drinking water facility. Generally, philanthropists supply water to the Shishu Gruha at the request of the staff. The home for abandoned children mainly runs with donations from philanthropists.
Eight children – four male and four female – are presently provided shelter in the Specialised Adoption Agency (SAA) also called Shishu Gruha in the city. The walls of the dilapidated building have developed cracks and electrical wiring has become old. The conditions outside the building too are untidy. Stray dogs and pigs frequently enter the Shishu Gruha premises posing a threat to the infants.
An SAA should mandatorily have a sick room, general room, dormitory, kitchen, store room, guest room, counselling room, waiting room, dining hall, playroom and others as per norms. The SAA in Kurnool, however, is run from one of the oldest government quarters, which is 2BKH (two bedrooms, and a kitchen). Initially, the Shishu Gruha was located at Peddapadu village on the outskirts of Kurnool city.
It was shifted to the building near C-Camp Rythu Bazaar in the city in 2016. It is run by the ICDS. It has a staff strength of six, including a manager, a nurse and four caretakers (ayahs), against the requisite staff of 12. ICDS officials have attributed the poor state of affairs in the home for abandoned children to inadequate budgetary allocation.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, district Women and Children Welfare Department Project Director KLRK Kumari said they had taken up recruitment of ayahs and other posts based on the requirement. However, people are not coming forward to join in the posts citing low salary, she said.
On poor facilities in the Shishu Gruha, she said steps will be taken soon to improve amenities. “We are running the home with the help of philanthropists and donors. We have taken steps to provide adequate care to the abandoned children and ensure their comfort,” she said. As many as 117 children have been given adoption from the Shishu Gruha in Kurnool so far. Over 250 rescued children, including abandoned infants, have been reunited with their parents.