Odisha govt sets date for adhaar enrollment of children living in care institutions

A directive was issued to all the district collectors on Friday to get such declarations within a fortnight and complete the enrollment.
Image used for representation
Image used for representationPhoto | AP

BHUBANESWAR: The state government has set a 15-day deadline for the district collectors to complete Aadhaar enrollment of children living in child care institutions (CCIs).

Odisha has close to 329 registered CCIs that house orphaned, abandoned and rescued children. Of them, 140 CCIs having more than 8,000 children are supported by the Centre’s Mission Vatsalya scheme for care, protection, rehabilitation and reintegration of children. Many of these children lack their birth certificates or residence proof as a result of which, they have not yet been enrolled for Aadhaar.

At a meeting held recently by the Women and Child Development department with representatives of the State PMU Aadhaar Kendra, officials pointed out that children in CCIs are missing out on various government schemes in the absence of Aadhaar registration. They said that a standardised certification format has been identified for Aadhaar enrolment of CCI children which requires a declaration by the superintendent or chief functionaries of the CCIs confirming the child’s residency and date of birth.

Accordingly, a directive was issued to all the district collectors on Friday to get such declarations within a fortnight and complete the enrollment. The district collectors were also directed to obtain caste and income certificates and Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY) cards for the orphaned, abandoned and rescued children under institutional care to help them get benefits from various government schemes.

Child care activists said although a delayed move, Aadhaar enrolment of vulnerable children should be mandatory because it will not just help them get government benefits but also help the system keep a track of children both under institutional and foster care as far as their safety is concerned.

Under the provisions of the WCD Ministry, all CCIs should ensure Aadhaar registration of children in their shelter. They should enter the Aadhaar details of the child on the ‘Track the Missing Child’ portal of the ministry. The activists added that while several states are following the Ministry’s directive, a majority of the CCIs in Odisha are yet to do so.

“Only a miniscule number of child care institutions are putting details of the child on the portal, without realising the fact that this could help them find children who go missing from such institutions,” an activist said, requesting anonymity.

In November last year, the Missing Persons Monitoring Unit of Crime against Women and Children wing of Odisha Police had rescued 10 children from West Bengal after tracking them through the portal. The children were staying in different CCIs of the neighbouring state.

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The New Indian Express