Girls living at the orphanage 'Unique Home' here have complained of being made to stay indoors by the district administration, which had on Tuesday taken over the functioning of the home. This is allegedly affecting their studies, as they are not allowed to leave the campus.
The 60 inmates, all girls, were ordered to be shifted to other homes by deputy commissioner Priyank Bharti on Tuesday after a June 5 inspection found that the institution did not have the required permission for running an adoption centre. But bowing to people's pressure, the administration had to abandon the plan and it was decided that the district administration would look after the orphanage for now.
But the administration - perhaps too pro-active in the wake of the sexual abuse racket busted at a children's home in Rohtak - decided that neither would the inmates be allowed to come out, nor would outsiders, including members of the charitable trust running the centre, be allowed to enter. However, the media were allowed to meet the inmates on Wednesday.
Sixteen-year-old Shiba, a student of Class 12 in the medical stream at Montogomery Guru Nanak Public School said her studies were suffering because she could not attend her evening tuitions. She complained, "I can't afford to miss my tuitions for even a single day.
But we have to remain confined to the orphanage. I was shocked when I came to know about the decision of the district administration. I called the DC to seek permission and he agreed, but SDM (Jalandhar-2) Isha Kalia, who came to the home, did not allow me to go." Three other girls, including 11-year-old Sara, a student of Class 6, said they, too, had missed their tuitions.
A student of BA-2 at Lyallpur Khalsa College for Women, Lucy Singh was among the girls who returned from a vacation in Dalhousie with the home's managing director (MD) Prakash Kaur following the administration's directions. She said the administration had committed a mistake by planning to shift girls to other houses and then by confining the girls inside the house.
"We want to live like before. I feel there will be no home better than this and no mother better than Prakash Kaur," she said.