A division bench of the Gujarat High Court directed a women’s shelter home in Palanpur to make sure its residents are admitted to schools and arrangement for computer education is also made that may be beneficial in the long run.
The court said that necessary arrangements of video conferencing be made for distance-learning courses or vocational training at any institute. It also stressed that computer classes are arranged for and training on the technical know-how is imparted.
Apart from vocational training, the court also directed that there should be periodical review of the food being served at the shelter home and health experts be consulted on the nutritive value of the diet being provided, “especially bearing in mind those girls who are either pregnant or have become mother and living with their children.”
The court of Justices Sonia Gokani and N V Anjaria left it to the Palanpur additional district and sessions Judge Robin Mogera to ensure the implementation, in consultation with the Palanpur principal district judge, who is also ex-officio chairperson of District Legal Services Authority, along with consulting the district collector of Banaskantha or the Superintendent of Police of the district.
The court gave the directions while hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by parents of a 13-year-old girl who was reportedly kidnapped in Dhanera of Banaskantha in July.
When the girl was eventually presented before the court on August 13, she told the division bench that she was scared of her parents and would rather be housed at a women’s shelter home and continue her education from there. The girl is studying in Class 10. The court then sent her to Palanpur shelter home.
Following inquiry after the girl was sent there, the court realised that the Palanpur women’s shelter home was not imparting any training in operating computers “…and although the girls are being kept engaged in some activities of daily chores, the activities which may also prove to be beneficial for them eventually for becoming self sufficient, do not figure anywhere in the routine.”
Deeming that it is essential that vocational guidance or training is imparted to these girls, the court directed that at least for the said 13-year-old, arrangements should be made so that she can continue her education. “For the said purpose, if there is a requirement of seeking admission in the school, for those girls who are likely to be there for a longer duration i.e. for at least one year, the same be arranged,” the bench noted in its order.
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