The Chandigarh administration has finally taken possession of the Bal Niketan, a home for orphan girls in Sector 15, and has renamed it to Children Home for Girls. Earlier, the home was being run by an NGO since its inception in early 1980s.
The home will be under the control of Chandigarh Child and Women Development Corporation.
For running the home smoothly, the department has appointed 11 staff members, including three house mothers, one warden, one clerk, two gardeners and three gatekeepers. Except for gatekeepers, all staff members are women.
Earlier, the social welfare department was bearing the 90% cost of expenditure on the maintenance of inmates.
Spelling out priorities, director social welfare Rajesh Jogpal said, “We will make efforts to bring back all the children, who have left. The department has formed a special team of counsellors for helping the children overcome trauma. Besides, professionals and experts have been designated to assist children under section 39 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act.”
The home was under the possession of the NGO till Friday evening and its staff reportedly did not corporate with the two counsellors, who visited the home to meet the remaining 12 children. It was only after the intervention of the social welfare director that the counsellors were allowed to perform their duties. The remaining 28 children have been restored to their families.
Child Welf are Committee chair man Father Sebastian Jose told HT that all the rules were followed while restoring the children to their family.
Jogpal said they have seized all the documents and would scrutinise all the details.
The matter of supervisor sexually harassing inmates came to light on April 2, after a complaint was received on child helpline 1098, reportedly from Bal Niketan inmates. The complaint was forwarded to the social welfare department and orders of an inquiry were issued and a four-member committee was set up on April 3. After recording the statements of the office-bearers of the society and inmates, the committee found that complaint received against supervisor Manish Arora was genuine and a police case was registered against him.