TIRUVANNAMALAI: Officials of the District Social Welfare Office (DSWO) here have found that two children’s homes were functioning illegally in the district and efforts are on to shut them.
This came to light during the district-wide inspections of homes run by certain organisations, especially after two minor girls were kidnapped and raped at a home in Pollachi recently.
Following the incident that put the government machinery in a tough spot as the security of inmates of children home was lax, the government had ordered to conduct a thorough check across the State.
Officials said there are 61 homes with a total of 18,500 inmates across the district. Of this, only 13 homes were licensed, while the remaining were registered homes that had applied for licenses. Among the 13, seven were receiving government grants.
During the joint inspections conducted by the officials of DSWO, District Child Protection Unit (DCPU) and members of Child Welfare Committee, they found that the two homes in Tiruvannamalai town were functioning illegally and did not adhere to norms.
“We are taking steps to close the two homes for poor infrastructure and administration and for keeping children, aged persons and differently-abled in a single complex. It is a serious offence. The inmates of the homes will be shifted to nearby licensed homes,” an official said.
After getting approval from the district Collector, the illegal home would be shut. “We have decided to take severe action after they failed to respond to three memos. The homes have also not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. It is a serious offence,” said M Nagaraj, Institution Protection officer of the DCPU.
As per rules, each home should furnish details of all inmates along with their photos to the DSWO. Details of all staff, including sweepers, should also be submitted to the authorities and attested. “We have sent the applications of 45 registered homes for renewal of licences to the Social Welfare and Defence Department after the Collector’s recommedation,” he further said. Four illegal homes were closed down a year ago in Tiruvannamalai, said the officials.