Published: 07th June 2018
Human rights body seeks report on shutdown of orphanages in Kerala
Various orphanages or girls' homes were reportedly shut down due to the recent amendments in juvenile justice act, making it stringent to register such institutions
The Kerala State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) took suo-motu cognisance on the issue of shutdown of orphanages that sheltered school-going tribal girls of Athirappilly panchayat.
KSHRC member K Mohankumar directed the Social Justice Officer and District Collector to inquire and submit the report before July 12. The commission also asked the officers to explain what measures were taken to protect the tribal girls and ensure their further education.
A District Childline officer said, "There're 148 homes that shelter children in the district. But only 50 have been able to abide by the regulations in the act and many are in the process of registration. The rest of the children's homes and orphanages are either shut down or being registered as hostels."
The officer added Childline had not received any complaints yet.
The commission will consider the case during its sitting at Thrissur on July 12.
Responding to the issue, Athirappilly Panchayat president Thankamma Varghese said the panchayat had intervened and shifted them to secure places.
"Students of first and second standards were shifted to Vazhachal tribal school, and many others to Theni and Idukki. Most girls are in the upper primary classes and they were safely put in residential schools or institutions with proper registration," said Thankamma.
She added some children's homes kept by the Church were shut down which led to the crisis.