HYDERABAD: Despite the department of Women Development and Child Welfare (WDCW) getting a full-time minister Sathyavathi Rathod, there is still no progress in terms of appointment of Child Welfare Committees (CWC) for the newly formed districts. This is despite a slew of Supreme Court directives to ensure that each district has a CWC. Most recently, the Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) also submitted a status report to the SC that several states, including Telangana, did not have a fully-functional CWC.
At present, only ten out of 33 districts have a CWC to look into cases of abuse, missing cases and child labour. This leads to children in conflict with the law, and in need of care and protection staying beyond their required terms at observation homes. It is a common complaint from departments involved in the rescue of children that the CWC who convene for only two days of the week, often make delays in passing orders for keeping a child in an NGO, which may force them to remain in their abusive homes or environment.
Furthermore, it is learnt that all these ten are working beyond their specified terms after the government notified that their terms will run indefinitely until specified. In fact, even the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPRC) which was to look into cases of child rights ranging from student suicides to child sexual abuse, has not been formed.
“There is an abnormal delay in announcements of child rights commission and appointments, giving room to doubts that the government is trying to rig the appointments and have those they prefer in these posts”, said Achutya Rao, Balala Hakkula Sangham.
Meanwhile, an official from WDCW said that the delay is from the Chief Minister’s office. “These appointments have to be done by the CM’s office and the secretariat. The department has forwarded these, but until a GO is issued seeking appointments, the CWC cannot be appointed,” said the official. As a result, the decisions of child welfare for 33 districts are being looked into by just 10 teams, all of which are working beyond their tenure.