Social Security and Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani paid a surprise visit to the Juvenile Home and Blind Home here on Tuesday.
Though Jayani saw the problems caused because of paucity of funds and staff at both the places, he admitted that the food was of very poor quality which was being served to the kids. Jayani said, “The food at Juvenile Home as well as Blind Home was not worth eating and I have asked the authorities to start a canteen on a contract basis at both the places so as to improve the quality of food. We cannot compromise on quality at any cost.”
Jayani added, “I have called a meeting of incharges of all the juvenile homes across the state on August 20 in Chandigarh. We will discuss the shortcomings so as to improve them. I will ask the state government to provide funds for food at one go for one year; at the moment, they are coming in parts due to which staff has to take ration on credit. This is a major reason for poor quality of food in these places.”
Interestingly, both the places were grossly understaffed, with the Juvenile Home not even having a permanent incharge. In addition to this, the buildings need to be whitewashed and repaired.
At the Juvenile Home, 66 minors are living who had been booked under various offences.
Stressing that focus should be more on making these children into better individuals, Jayani stated that after the meeting of August 20, they would chalk out a plan to make more improvements.