Minister orders probe into missing child casehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/minister-orders-probe-into-missing-child-case/

Minister orders probe into missing child case

Even as Women and Child Development Minister Varsha Gaikwad has ordered an inquiry into the death of a 13-year-old mentally challenged child at Yerawada Boys Observation Home last month,another 14-year-old child has gone missing since last week.

Even as Women and Child Development Minister Varsha Gaikwad has ordered an inquiry into the death of a 13-year-old mentally challenged child at Yerawada Boys Observation Home last month,another 14-year-old child has gone missing since last week. A complaint has been registered at the Yerawada Jail Road Police Station. The minister has now ordered a probe into the missing case and has asked the district women and child welfare officer to prepare a report. “It is shocking. I have told the officers to give me an immediate report,’’ she said.

Sarla Marne,probation officer of the Yerawada Observation Home told The Sunday Express that the boy was among 21 children who were earlier shifted from Daund Special Home.

Of them,a 13-year-old mentally challenged child died last month and on March 4,another child went missing.

“The boy could move around,so it was possible for him to leave the premises. We have security. He has been missing since March 4. We have reported it to the police station and the child welfare committee,’’ said Marne.

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Ever since the 13-year-old’s death,there has been a move to shift the remaining children to another home. On the matter,Marne said they have been following up with the child welfare committee officials,activists and the commissionerate.

The Child Welfare Committee officials feel that there should have been adequate care taken by the observation home. “We are trying to speed up the process of shifting these children to another special home,’’ said Child Welfare Committee member Anita Vipat.

She said they had received a positive response from some private homes for special children from Pune,Nagpur and Satara.

Meanwhile,there has been a delay in getting certificates from the Sassoon General Hospital. Marne said they had been following up with the hospital and they finally got the certificates of all children on Saturday. “By Tuesday these children can be shifted,’’ she said.

Child activist Anjali Pawar said it is shocking that even after a month,the department is unable to shift these special children who need necessary care. “The authorities are not doing enough to safeguard interest of these children. There should be accountability,’’ she said.

She has written to the Child Rights Commission regarding the case,but is yet to receive a response.