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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

SC notice to Centre, states on plight of orphans

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 20, 2012
First Published: 00:13 IST(20/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:14 IST(20/11/2012)

The Supreme Court on Monday took note of a public interest litigation (PIL) that highlights the problems faced by orphans once they attain the age of majority.

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Filed by Pune-based advocate Rajendra Anbhule, the PIL details how orphans are made to fend for themselves after they turn 18. Anbhule's petition claims that several orphans have to give up education as they get no assistance for higher studies.

"In such a situation, most of them go out of the main stream and lead a life of vagrancy," the petition states.

Acting on the PIL, a bench headed by justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to all state governments and also sought a reply from the Centre.

Anbule has spoken about his interaction with such orphans who even face problems while looking for a job. Due to incomplete education, they are unable to get good jobs.

In his research, the petitioner also found that such persons do not even have basic documents such as ration cards, domicile certificate, voting cards or below-poverty-line certificates.

Calling them the weakest section of the society, Anbhule has prayed for the government assistance for such orphans. "The government does not have a scheme for providing educational fees, scholarships, hostel accommodation for such orphans," the PIL states.

Though there are after care homes, they are not enough to cater to all the orphans who turn major. There are no such facilities for girls, the petition further adds.

Anbhule has cited the example of Maharashtra and said: "There are more than 80,000 orphans in the state alone. As informed by the government, there are only four after-care centres in the state wherein the total capacity is for just 210 and there is no after-care centre operational for girls.

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