The Goa child rights commission has found laxity in the management of state-run Apna Ghar and said the facility lacks trained teachers and counsellors for its minor inmates. Apna Ghar is a government-run shelter home for children and juvenile delinquents located on Panaji’s outskirts.
The Goa State Commission for Child Rights (GSCCR), in its annual report for 2016, has said there is a lack of professional as well as trained teachers and counsellors at the facility. The panel has noted that proper hygiene is not maintained at the shelter home. As per the report released today, 15 girls and 17 boys have been admitted at the facility by the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). Six boys have been sent to Apna Ghar by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) which deals with cases related to minor offenders.
In addition, three toddlers have been kept in girls’ section. The report said there is no separate counsellor for children sent by the JJB. The commission, in its 90-page report, pointed out that the counselling is currently done by interns and social workers. The commission members observed that there is no segregation of children in conflict with law (minor offenders) and kids in need of care and protection. During an interaction with the inmates, the commission members came to know that several children admitted by the CWC want to go back home. “However, lack of fund is preventing their repatriation,” they said.
On the hygiene front, the commission warned of health risk as during an inspection, the kitchen and dining tables were not found to be clean. Also, wet waste was found lying outside the rear entrance of the kitchen area.