The Maharashtra Government has appointed a committee on child protection in orphan homes after the Bombay High Court reprimanded it for deaths of five children in two months in an orphanage.
"The committee is expected to coordinate with the existing structures and schemes of the Department of Women and Child and Welfare for protection of children in institutions," an official release said.
It would advise the government on matters relating to establishment and maintenance of children homes, and crisis situations or complaints pertaining to it. Also provision of facilities like education, training and rehabilitation of child and protection of Juvenile Justice Act are included in the functioning of the committee, the resolution said. "The committee can make surprise visits to the children's institutions and assess the quality of care. It can also recommend improvements required in the orphanages," it said.
Expressing shock at a newspaper report on the deaths of five children in a span of two months in an orphanage for mentally challenged, the Bombay High Court had asked the government to appoint the committee in September.
The committee is chaired by Asha Bajpai, professor of Law at Tata Institute of Social Science and other members include HB Rathod, Deputy Commissioner (Child Development) DWCD, Pune, Dr Harish Shetty (Mental Health Expert), Anjali Gokaran (Social Worker), Chitrakala Acharya (Childline) and Sarita Shankaran (NGO).