Drug abuse, insanitary conditions found in UP juvenile homesJuly 4th, 2012 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) Major lapses were uncovered in the working of Uttar Pradesh’s child welfare system in Meerut by a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights team with many children suspected to be on drugs suppplied by staff, commission member Yogesh Dube said here Tuesday.
A 5-member NCPCR team during a visit Monday found dismal conditions at the two state-run juvenile homes in Meerut - the observation home and the Bal Kalyan Sadan - besides hearing reports of rampant drug use among the children.
“According to some children, an earlier guard at the home used to provide them drugs such as opium and charas for a meagre 200 rupees,” an NCPCR official told IANS.
“We have ordered the Chief Medical Officer of the district to conduct a detailed health check-up of the children so that the extent of drug use and its damage could be assessed,” said Dube, the commission team leader.
Stuffed in 6 tiny rooms on the third floor, the children have no recreational facility and a playground seems only a dream. For the 106 resident children, lack of proper sanitation as well as infrastructure are daily realities.
“The rooms had no ventilation, the bedding was threadbare and the children didn’t even have enough clothes. Some children said that they were given slippers on the day of the visit itself,” Dube added.
According to Dube, even the food in the home’s store was spoilt.
In February, as many as 5 chidren had escaped from the home.
The situation was no better in the Bal Kalyan Sadan (BKS), situated on the ground floor of the building.
The NCPCR team was shocked to find the mentally challenged children languishing unattended in the corridors.
According to inspection team, BKS staff said the children were kept in the corridors since the staff would not be able to keep an eye on them if they were inside the rooms.
Following the visit, the NCPCR team ordered immediate suspension of a caretaker and a store in-charge for beating the children. The team then met the District Magistrate (DM) and reported its findings.
“The DM has acknowledged the need for a new premises for the observation home and we hope the new premises would soon be available to the children,” said a team member.
The team also ordered the State Legal Services Authority to constitute a 2-member team to provide legal assistance to the juveniles in the home, besides instructing home authorities to appoint special staff for the mentally challenged children.
The team had also visited a girls’ observation home at Ghaziabad as follow-up to an earlier visit, when 6 of its 7 inmates were reported absconding.
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Tags: caretaker, charas, child welfare system, commission member, corridors, dismal conditions, drug use, kalyan, lapses, medical officer, meerut, opium, proper sanitation, rampant drug, rupees, s child, sadan, slippers, tiny rooms, uttar pradesh