The city has lost its only cradle as the Mother Teresa Home, Sector 23, has written to the Chandigarh administration that it won’t adopt any more children. The adoption home the city’s administration plans to have is still under construction and not yet registered.
So, abandoned children below 7 years of age and waiting for adoption are living in the Sector 15 Bal Neketan, which is neither safe in view of ongoing construction work nor equipped to be their home.
The only one the missionaries took under their care for next two months on request is an abandoned 10-day-old boy till he can be handed over to the child welfare committee. The missionaries have sought permission to transfer another six special children to their Delhi home.
After taking over the Sector 15 Bal Neketan in April last year, the city administration decided to convert it into an adoption home and shifted children below seven years from Snehalaya here in September. But it still has to get registered with the Specialised Adoption Agency.
BAL NIKETAN: UNSAFE, ILL-EQUIPPED
Although, Bal Niketan has a capacity to house about 50 children and is making room for another 50, conditions here leave a lot to be desired. As per rules, it needs to put up a cradle at the entrance and create awareness about the adoption facility. Accommodation for the staff has to be constructed, kitchen needs renovation and so do the toilets to suit the needs of small children.
At present, nearly 20 children, all below the age of seven, are living at the children home. The ongoing construction and dugup trenches filled with rainwater confine them indoors, once they are back from school.
Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson Devi Sirohi told HT, “We are constantly monitoring the facility to ensure that children get proper care. The construction of a corridor is under way and I have been informed that it would be completed in a week’s time. But till the time the home is not registered with the SAA, it cannot be opened for adoption.”