statesman news service
KURSEONG, 28 JUNE: After media reports appeared that poor and orphan children are once again going to be orphaned, today, a team led by the GTA Sabha Women & Children Welfare Department, chief, Mrs Prabha Chettri, Human Rights member, Mrs Alka Dey and others visited Margaret&’s Home in Kurseong to take stock of the situation. Meanwhile, they met the authorities of the home and took stock of the development. The delegation has also requested the authorities not to remove the children but keep them at the same home.
Talking to reporters, Mrs Chettri said: “After the meeting with the home authorities, including Sr. Saly Joseph FC, the Superior of the St. Helens Convent, Kurseong, we came to know that as they are going to reconstruct the whole building of the home, they have been sending the children to their respective family and a hostel at St. Mary&’s Hills for the time being.”
She also said: “During the meeting, Sr. Saly had assured us that after the completion of the building they will bring back all the children to the newly reconstructed home.”
“However, later, in a letter, Sr. Saly has mentioned that out of the total of 42 members of the home, six are elderly persons aged between 60 to 80 years old who will be kept in the premises of St. Helens itself. And as the rest are children, they will be placed in another secure and safe place from where they can continue with their school and studies,” said Mrs Chettri.
“Hence, once again we will meet the authorities, tomorrow, to solve the matter. We are also ready to help them and provide them government aids, if they want,” added Mrs Chettri.
Talking to reporters, Sr. Saly had said that they are not going to turn the home to a hostel but its reconstruction is required as it is in a dilapidated condition. “Once the new building comes up we will provide such poor, orphaned or children from broken homes a place to stay and care for them while they carry on with their education,” she said.
Notably, when the news of the home being closed spread, its residents, including children, were anxious and worried as they had been used to the life at Margaret&’s Home.
The children do not want to go to other hostels and have been emotional wrecks. Already three of their friends have been sent to Kolkata and Siliguri and the rest of them are being instructed to go back either to their parents or to a hostel in St. Mary&’s Hill, Kurseong where many such children already reside.