With cases of rape and sexual abuse of women at shelter homes in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh coming to light, Punjab government subjected its 67 children’s homes to checking as a precautionary measure but no complaint related to the abuse or child security came to the fore.
An official spokesperson said the specialised campaign was carried on the directions of the Social Security, Women and Child Development Minister, Aruna Chaudhary but everything was found in order at all 67 children’s homes.
The spokesperson said suggestions have, however, been received regarding further improvement in the children homes and some minor infrastructural issues, these were forwarded to the minister.
The department also released two helpline numbers in order to ensure the protection of children on which anybody can register a complaint. Any person can lodge a complaint 24X7 on the mobile number 70872-23325 while on the departmental headquarter number 0172-2608746 complaint can be lodged from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m.
The complaints can be lodged concerning the misbehaviour with or cruelty against children, women and the old age people. The identity of the complainant would be kept a secret.
The minister further said that the incidents which happened at the children homes in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have shaken the society to the core which resulted in the department deciding to go in for special checking of the children homes in Punjab by constituting teams under the deputy commissioners and the higher officials at the state level.
Expressing satisfaction at the report of the checking teams, Chaudhary assured that the Punjab government was duty bound for the protection of children with more improved methods in future.
The special chief secretary, Social Security, Women and Child Development, KBS Sidhu said this campaign has yielded satisfying results and the suggestions received with regard to the more improvements would be surely put into practice.
Elaborating about the special checking campaign, the director of the Department, Kavita Singh said that in the two days span, 67 children homes spread over 14 districts were subjected to checking. Out of these, 19 were government and the rest 48 were non-governmental.
These are those children homes which house the orphan, lost and the children with special needs or those from child reform homes. On the first day, 36 while on the second day today 31 institutes were checked.