Odisha govt’s new criteria put orphanages in a fix

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government’s fresh instructions for orphanages has now put the authorities of several child care institutions in a dilemma in the State.

As per the government guidelines, children who are not orphans would no longer be allowed to stay at any such child care centres. The officials of  district administration have been asked to ensure that such children are handed over to their respective parents at the earliest.

Acting on the direction of the State government, Centre for the Development of Women and Children (CDWC) and Child Protection Committee (CPC) have already started a drive to identify and subsequent shifting of children from 27 such organisations which is home to over 500 children in Khurdha district. There are 51 child care centres in Khurdha district alone.

The decision of the government is likely to adversly affect the education of such children, said Jasmil Karad, a member of Havelock Children’s Home. “Shifting the children in such a quick span of time is not in the interest of the children’s future.”

CWDC, Khurdha official Jharana Swain said the government’s decision would help children get proper education at schools in their respective villages.

Meanwhile, District CPC official Banishree Patnaik said some organisations in the district are not able to meet the parameters needed for running a child care institute. That’s why the decision has been taken, Patnaik added.

Several orphanages in the district are now staring at uncertain future following tough stand on part of the State government. But, importantly, the concerned department here also need to ensure that all the children are not deprived of their rights to basic education.