Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 6
Sixty per cent of the children in conflict with law, lodged in observation homes across India, have been sent back home to ward off the threat of Covid-19 spread among them.
This translates into restoration of 5,155 juvenile delinquents out of a total of 8,614 residing in special homes.
The Centre has also sent home a whopping 64 per cent of the children in need of care and support who were living in childcare institutions.
The restoration exercise followed an order of the Supreme Court, which directed child welfare committees and juvenile justice boards nationally to consider ways of reducing the impact of Covid-19 in crowded childcare institutions and judge whether children need to be kept in institutions or not. The SC orders also covered children in foster care.
The government data shows 132 children in childcare institutions have so far contracted Covid-19 — a reason why it was considered urgent to send children home as the pandemic surged.
Since the passing of the Supreme Court orders in April, 64 per cent children (1,45,788 out of 2,27,518) in need of care and protection who were in childcare institutions have been restored to their families and child welfare committees are telephonically monitoring their progress at home.
High Courts and state representatives shared the above data at a national consultation on the issue organised by the SC’s Juvenile Justice Committee in coordination with the UNICEF.
The consultation engaged chiefs and members of Juvenile Justice Committees of High Courts and was led by Justice S Ravindra Bhat, Judge, Supreme Court, and Chair of the SC Juvenile Justice Committee.
Secretary, Women and Child Development Ministry, Ram Manohar Mishra, meanwhile, said the Centre had appealed to states to draft detailed district action plans for the support of children for future.