Following the Supreme Court order, the Himachal Pradesh government has decided to close unregistered child homes in the state and the children of these facilities will be shifted to the registered ones.
There were 42 child homes of which 19 got registered after inspection. Remaining 23 have been issued notices. "There were several unregistered child homes in the state, which have been given the opportunity to come forward for registration," said women and children development department director Madhu Bala adding that some of them could not fulfill the requirements.
She added, "We have given a chance to register all child homes and nearly 19 were registered after proper verifications."
Of the registered homes, only eight are owned by the state government while 11 are run by non-governmental organisations that receive grant-in-aid from the state.
She said that some of child homes have shortage of accommodation and staff. There were several homes where numbers of children were very less and less number was vulnerable," she added.
She added that if some child homes were genuine they would be allowed to function as before. But there were reports that some hostel were running in pretext of child homes and matter has been forwarded to deputy commissioners, she added.
"We are not against the children and children of unregistered child homes will be adjusted in different government or registered child homes," she said.
There are 19 registered child homes across the state in Shimla, Kangra, Hamirpur, Chamba and Kullu.
Earlier, a welfare trust Umang foundation said that government's decision of shutting 23 child homes would affect 1,500 children. However, government denied of any such numbers.
Meanwhile, Umang foundation had said that it would approach the Himachal Pradesh high court against the state government decision.