April 28, 2009 1:59:28 am
Two dingy rooms for 32 minor orphans this is all that a country which swears on growing youth power has to offer.
Shishu Sadan provides shelter to 16 boys and 16 girls,all less than 10 years. Located at Shivkuti,Shishu Sadan is the only government children home in Allahabad,under the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.
In a dilapidated condition,it has only two maids,Noorjahan and Beenu,who take care of the children throughout the day. What is even more appalling is that for the last six years the meagre fund Rs 550 per child monthly released by the state government has not yet been revised.
How can a child have a proper diet and nutrition along with clothes and other necessities with Rs 550? We have been requesting the government to increase the amount but have always been left disappointed, said a staff member. The home also has two HIV+ children who demand greater care and nutrition in order to increase their immune system,added the staff member.
Khana to milta hai per itna nahi hota ki pet bhar ke kha saken per yahan ke log pyaar bahut karte hain (We do get food but it is not enough to fill our appetite but people here do take care of us, said an eight-year-old HIV+ girl.
It is really very tough to run the home with this amount which is usually spent on providing milk for the children, said another staff member.
Adding to the chagrin,the Centrally-supported Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) situated in the same campus has not released the funds meant for five girls in the home for the last two years. The Central governments amount is Rs 1,500 per child.
Suman Srivastava,acting superintendent of the child home said she has been continuously requesting the state government to increase the fund. Its only we who know how we manage and run the centre with such funds that hardly last for a month. We largely depend on some people who help us by donating eatables and clothes on a regular basis, she said.
District Magistrate Rajeev Agrawal has also written several letters to the Centre to release the funds,she added.
With mercury soaring up to 40 degrees in the last few days,these children have to bear the brunt of the heat and humidity in the suffocating rooms from where they cannot come out in open due to security reasons. The shelter home is of seven rooms but the 32 children are kept in only two rooms. The home does not even have the facility of a generator or a cooler to beat the heat. Dressed in shabby clothes,the children along with the staff wait for visitors who donate food and clothes to the home.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.