The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Deonar, has drawn up a rehabilitation plan for 35 children from Kavdas and Panvel orphanages, who were allegedly sexually abused and tortured at shelter homes. TISS had undertaken the pilot project for two years in partnership with the state government and is preparing a ‘care plan’ for each child. The plan will also be extended to other students who were residing at the shelter homes.
According to TISS, this plan can be replicated to help 70,000 children in institutional care across the state. “We will to train the government staff so that they know how to deal with such cases. Based on the child’s requirement we will provide them with a special educator, counsellor and take care of their day to day requirements,” said Dr Ahsa Bajpai, professor and the chairperson of the State Coordination Committee for Child Protection (SCCCP).
The objective of the care plan is to ensure that children are able to overcome the trauma they underwent and to ensure that such abuse and exploitation are not repeated.
The children will be assessed by counsellors for the impact of the abuse and exploitation faced by them. “Their mental health needs are a priority for successful rehabilitation and reintegration of a child,” said Dr Harish Shetty, a psychiatrist who is also one of the members of SCCCP.
The care plan includes questions on activities that the child can perform, level of social interaction, sexual awareness, education and related therapies that the child requires and vocational skills. The plan will also take note of the disabilities that the child has and how to cope with them.