Mumbai: Maharashtra Government has
appointed a committee on child protection in orphan homes
after the Bombay High Court reprimanded it for deaths of five
children in two months at an orphanage.
"The committee is expected to coordinate with the
existing structures and schemes of the Department of Women and
Child and Welfare for protection of children in institutions,"
a resolution in this regard issued by the Government last
It would advise the Government on matters relating to
establishment and maintenance of children homes, and crisis
situations or complaints pertaining to it. Also provision of
facilities like education, training and rehabilitation of
child and protection of Juvenile Justice Act are included in
the functioning of the committee, the resolution said.
"The committee can make surprise visits to the
children`s institutions and assess the quality of care across
the state. It can also recommend improvements required in
the orphanages," it said.
Expressing shock at a newspaper report on the deaths
of five children in a span of two months at an orphanage for
mentally challenged, the Bombay High Court asked the
Government to appoint the committee in September.
A city tabloid had run a story in August about the
deaths of children, with malnourishment as a possible cause,
at Satkarm Balgriha orphanage at Kavdas village in Shahpur
taluka of neighbouring Thane.
The committee is chaired by Asha Bajpai professor of
Law at Tata Institute of Social Science and other members
include H.B. Rathod, Deputy Commissioner (Child Development)
DWCD, Pune, Dr Harish Shetty (Mental Health Expert), Anjali
Gokaran (Social Worker), Chitrakala Acharya (Childline) and
Sarita Shankaran (NGO).