The Delhi government has ordered action against a private shelter after finding gross negligence of the wellbeing of children living at the centre, during a surprise inspection.
Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal conducted the surprise inspection of the shelter home-based in Kamla Nagar and observed issues about Covid norms and several others.
The officials found that most of the children at the shelter home were not wearing masks and social distancing was also not maintained.
“It was seen that the shelter home was very congested and housed 78 children. The rooms were very small and suffocating and were housing children way above their capacity. The home was closed from all sides giving it the appearance of a jail. Further, it was informed by the Superintendent that several children and staff contracted the coronavirus and some had to be hospitalized too. It was seen that even now COVID protocols were not being followed as most children and staff were not wearing masks and social distancing was not being maintained,” they said.
The officials also observed that the coolers were not operated during the day, forcing the children to sit in the scorching heat.
The rooms were also dirty and there was no separate sanitation staff due to which the children were made to clean their rooms,” they said.
“There is no space for children to play outdoor games within the shelter home and the children are not allowed to go out forcing them to stay indoors all the time in a suffocating environment. There appeared to be no means of recreation for the children,” the officials added.
Besides, it was also revealed that the shelter home does not have enough computers and mobile phones to enable the children to attend their online classes. Minister Gautam asked the officials to ensure mobile phones and other facilities for the children.
“I have ordered the officers to ensure children living in the home get good facilities and that no child’s education should suffer due to lack of resources,” he added.
“The children living in these shelter homes need special care and love. We will ensure that each child gets proper rehabilitation and can integrate into a normal life,” Maliwal said.