NEW DELHI: Following the controversies surrounding Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi directed all states to register and link child care institutions to country's apex adoption body, Central Adoption Resource Authority (CARA), within a month.
The Women and Child Development Minister also instructed states to immediately inspect all child care institutes run by Missionaries of Charity across the country.
Earlier this month, the Jharkhand Police arrested a nun and a woman employee of Missionaries of Charity for allegedly selling babies as part of a child trafficking racket in Ranchi. The accused reportedly sold four babies in Jharkhand as well as Uttar Pradesh.
"The child care institutions should have been linked long back. The deadline for registering all CCIs was December 1, 2017, and it is something that needs to be urgently done," CARA CEO Lt Col (retd) Deepak Kumar told PTI, adding that the children in these institutions should be brought into the adoption system.
The mandatory registration of CCIs and linking to the CARA has been provided in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which came into force more than two years ago. However, some orphanages challenged the validity of this clause, a Women and Child Development Ministry official said.
Approximately 2,300 child care institutions have been linked to CARA since December last year, but about 4,000 are still pending for linkage.
According to National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, there are 2,32,937 children in all the CCIs ? registered and the unregistered ones ? in the country.