Several Shelter Homes in Odisha lack basic facilities: NCPCR

Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has found that as many as 28 child care institutions in Odisha lack basic facilities such as toilets and safe drinking water and children are even kept in unhygienic conditions. The NCPCR today submitted its report to the Centre and Odisha government after conducting inspections at 56 randomly-selected children’s homes in 19 districts of the State following the allegation of sexual abuse of minor girls at a shelter home in Dhenkanal district last year.

In its report, the apex child rights’ body also stated that FIRs may be registered against 13 shelter homes for violation of various provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act while five such homes need to be closed. The report also recommended that further enquiry is required in six homes.

NCPCR also observed that at some homes children belonging to a particular religion are kept and managed by the religious institutions of the same faith while at some places children are being taught Bible irrespective of the religion they belong to.

“We visited several shelter homes, including the Good News Shelter Home, and found that several child care institutions do not have basic amenities. Besides, several shelter homes were found involved in religious conversions and as many as 21 homes have inadequate security arrangements. It seems the State monitoring system was not working properly,” said NCPCR member Priyanka Kanungo.