Shalimar Children’s ‘Home’: Where kids don’t feel homely
Social Welfare Dept Looks The Other Way On Sensitive Issue
Srinagar, Feb 6: Hundreds of boys and girls enrolled in government-run ‘children’s home’ at Shalimar on the outskirts of Srinagar are suffering in absence of requisite facilities. There is no heating system in place for them in this chilly winter; there is no proper hygiene, no healthcare facility and no educational prospects.
The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has failed to provide the Children Home with proper facilities. At Shalimar children’s home, the children said, they are not provided with adequate food. “We are provided with very little food. When we fall ill, the doctors advise us to take milk, but they don’t provide us,” said a group of children. “We are only fed with vegetables. There is a provision for meat and chicken, but it is not followed.”
A senior official in the SWD, wishing not to be identified, said the department is supposed to spend at least Rs 100 a day per student. “But this is hardly done,” he said.
There are two separate homes for boys and girls at Shalimar, housing at least 55 boys and 25 girls. The home, which houses kids in the age group of 7 to 16, lacks medicare facilities. “There is no doctor available in the Home. A helper provides medicine to children when they fall ill,” said an insider.
There is no ambulance. “Recently two girls fell ill during night. They complained of stomach ache. But we couldn’t take them to hospital because there was no ambulance,” the insider said. The SWD official said that the children had demanded establishment of a health centre, where round-the-clock presence of doctors is ensured, at the Home. But the demand is yet to be met.
The harsh winter has added to their woes. Except at a common room, there is no heating arrangement elsewhere. Not only students, teachers at the Home are also the victims of what they call government’s ill-planning. “The government provides Rs 25 to a teacher per day for tutoring more than 100 children,” said a teacher.
Director Social Welfare Department, Bashir Ahmed Bhat, admitted deficiencies at the Children’s Homes. “We are trying to fix the deficiencies. They are like our own children. We will work for their betterment,” he told Greater Kashmir.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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