GUWAHATI, Dec 25 - Disturbing facts about gross child rights violations have come to light in five children�s homes in Assam and one home in Manipur run by Markaz Darul Yatama, during inspections by the National Commission of Protection for Child Rights (NCPCR).
Other than financial irregularities and multiple sources of funding, the condition of children living in these homes was also not found satisfactory leading to violation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015.
The apex child rights body has asked the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to investigate the possible violation of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) by these homes with regard to the foreign funding received by them.
The Commission has also asked the SPs of the respective districts to file FIRs against these homes under the JJ Act and other appropriate provisions of law.
After receiving complaints from the Legal Rights Observatory, teams of NCPCR and state commissions for protection of child rights conducted inspections at six children homes in Assam and Manipur between December 14 and 18, 2020.
In Assam inspections were conducted at Markaz Darul Yatama, Dhubri; Markaz Darul Yatama for Girls, Goalpara; Markaz Darul Yatama for Boys, Goalpara; Markaz Darul Yatama for Boys, Hojai and Markaz Darul Yatama for Girls, Kachua, Nagaon and in Manipur Markaz Darul Yatama, Atoukhong, Thoubal was inspected.
Expressing concern over the discrepancy in the number of children housed in these children homes, NCPCR Chairman Priyank Kannoongo told The Assam Tribune that the information made available to the inspection teams about the number of children residing in these homes was 778. However, as per the information made available by Member of Parliament Maulana Badruddin Ajmal (who has established these Darul Yatama Homes) in his bio on the Lok Sabha website, these homes are housing 1,010 children.
�The website of Markazul Maarif also states that it is housing 1,080 children. Therefore, it is important to probe this discrepancy and find out the status of these 300 children,� he added.
It was noticed during the inspections that there were no efforts made to trace the biological families of the children. Also, reports mandated to be prepared under the JJ Act, 2015 were not submitted. In some homes, case history of each child had also not been prepared. It was further observed that none of these homes had been visited or inspected by child welfare committees (CWC) or the State government.