Begin typing your search above and press return to search.

Uncertainty grips hooch-induced orphans

By Wasim Rahman
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo

JORHAT, March 2 - The horrible hooch tragedy that struck Golaghat and Jorhat districts last week and claimed nearly 160 lives, has spawned uncertainty and gloom for 65 children who have become orphans.

According to official sources of both the district administrations, in all, 65 children lost their parents.

Among them, 32 children from Golaghat district lost both their parents, while in Jorhat district, five children lost both their parents, while 28 others lost only one parent each.

The sources informed that in Golaghat district, some among the double-orphaned lost both the parents in the tragedy, while some were already maternally or paternally orphaned, but became completely orphaned with the loss of the other surviving parent due to consumption of spurious liquor.

Among the orphaned, many of whom were 10 years or below, had to participate in the last rites of their parents without being able to figure out what exactly has robbed off their beloved ones as drinking illicit liquor on a regular basis was almost part of a daily routine for their guardians, who belonged to the socially and economically backward strata of the society, oblivious to the dangers associated with illicit liquor consumption.

Golaghat District Social Welfare Officer Smritirekha Bora Dutta told The Assam Tribune that the department has moved in to offer all possible assistance and guidance to the victims of the spurious liquor tragedy.

Dutta said the department has moved in as such intervention is required under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2015).

Under the Act, the Government will have to provide care and protection to children below 18 years who require help and support to prevent them from any kind of exploitation and attempts to bring them in conflict with the law.

She said there is a Government-constituted quasi-judicial body headed by a chairman in each district under the name Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which is supposed to look into cases of children who are in need of care and protection for pursuing studies and to prepare them for becoming self-dependent responsible future citizens.

The official said that the Golaghat CWC, which gets support from the District Child Protection Officer, had immediately started work after the incident occurred and carried out a survey with help from ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

Dutta said that the Golaghat CWC, headed by Dr Lukumoni Goswami, retired Vice-Principal of Furkating College, initially found 30 orphaned children, and later two others.

Among them, two kids - a brother and a sister - wished to stay in the district child protection home (Shishu Griha) at Bokakhat and were therefore shifted.

The protection home is managed by a local NGO as per rules and guidelines framed under the JJ Act with funds coming from the Central and State governments. Under constant supervision of the District Social Welfare Department, the home provides care to the inmates to pursue their education, Dutta stated .

The official mentioned that the CWC takes stock of the functioning of such homes in a district with the district child protection officer making frequent visits and thereafter submits reports to the CWC.

Dutta added that other affected children were requested by their relatives with whom they were presently residing to stay for a few more days until the religious rituals of the deceased were completed.

Later, the children and their relatives will be contacted by the CWC to know whether the children would prefer to move into the protection home.

The official said the CWC is expected to held a sitting in the coming days over the matter of approaching the children to know about their decision and would lodge them in the protection home if they wish.

Dutta said those children who may wish to stay with their relatives could be eligible for a monthly sponsorship from the Government under the rules, which was Rs 2,000 per month as an aid to take care of their minimum basic needs.

The CWC will examine the cases regarding sending proposals in this regard to the Government through the District Child Protection Officer, Dutta stated.

She added that this sponsorship would continue till a child attains 18 years of age. Dutta said District Child Protection officers will from time to time visit the homes in order to see how the children were carrying on, and to ensure that the minors were not exploited.

She also said there were provisions to adopt orphans of such incidents by well-to-do families provided they fulfil the criterion through the official procedure.

Dr Lukumoni Goswami told this newspaper that CWC will soon approach the children and their relatives to know about their decision regarding moving into the protection home.

Goswami also added that she will request the district administration to deposit the ex gratia of Rs two lakh announced by the Government to the next of kin of those dead in cases of orphaned children by opening bank accounts to prevent duping or depriving the children their money by unscrupulous relatives.

Jorhat District Social Welfare Officer Sangita Borthakur told this newspaper that all five completely orphaned children in the district have wished to live with their relatives with whom they were currently staying, and the relatives too were keen to keep them.

Borthakur said that the district CWC, headed by Alok Rajkhowa, a senior retired official of the Social Welfare Department, after examining the cases will take the final decision regarding the stay of five children with their relatives at the district child protection home.

She also said that those who lost one of the parents could also apply for the sponsorship.

In the meantime, State Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, who led an all-party delegation to both the districts to take stock of the tragedy, told The Assam Tribune that the team would discuss about the orphaned children and suggest to the Government to take up a programme to support the children in order to enable them to move ahead in life in a stable manner.

Next Story
Similar Posts
Uncertainty grips hooch-induced orphans

JORHAT, March 2 - The horrible hooch tragedy that struck Golaghat and Jorhat districts last week and claimed nearly 160 lives, has spawned uncertainty and gloom for 65 children who have become orphans.

According to official sources of both the district administrations, in all, 65 children lost their parents.

Among them, 32 children from Golaghat district lost both their parents, while in Jorhat district, five children lost both their parents, while 28 others lost only one parent each.

The sources informed that in Golaghat district, some among the double-orphaned lost both the parents in the tragedy, while some were already maternally or paternally orphaned, but became completely orphaned with the loss of the other surviving parent due to consumption of spurious liquor.

Among the orphaned, many of whom were 10 years or below, had to participate in the last rites of their parents without being able to figure out what exactly has robbed off their beloved ones as drinking illicit liquor on a regular basis was almost part of a daily routine for their guardians, who belonged to the socially and economically backward strata of the society, oblivious to the dangers associated with illicit liquor consumption.

Golaghat District Social Welfare Officer Smritirekha Bora Dutta told The Assam Tribune that the department has moved in to offer all possible assistance and guidance to the victims of the spurious liquor tragedy.

Dutta said the department has moved in as such intervention is required under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000 (amended in 2015).

Under the Act, the Government will have to provide care and protection to children below 18 years who require help and support to prevent them from any kind of exploitation and attempts to bring them in conflict with the law.

She said there is a Government-constituted quasi-judicial body headed by a chairman in each district under the name Child Welfare Committee (CWC), which is supposed to look into cases of children who are in need of care and protection for pursuing studies and to prepare them for becoming self-dependent responsible future citizens.

The official said that the Golaghat CWC, which gets support from the District Child Protection Officer, had immediately started work after the incident occurred and carried out a survey with help from ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

Dutta said that the Golaghat CWC, headed by Dr Lukumoni Goswami, retired Vice-Principal of Furkating College, initially found 30 orphaned children, and later two others.

Among them, two kids - a brother and a sister - wished to stay in the district child protection home (Shishu Griha) at Bokakhat and were therefore shifted.

The protection home is managed by a local NGO as per rules and guidelines framed under the JJ Act with funds coming from the Central and State governments. Under constant supervision of the District Social Welfare Department, the home provides care to the inmates to pursue their education, Dutta stated .

The official mentioned that the CWC takes stock of the functioning of such homes in a district with the district child protection officer making frequent visits and thereafter submits reports to the CWC.

Dutta added that other affected children were requested by their relatives with whom they were presently residing to stay for a few more days until the religious rituals of the deceased were completed.

Later, the children and their relatives will be contacted by the CWC to know whether the children would prefer to move into the protection home.

The official said the CWC is expected to held a sitting in the coming days over the matter of approaching the children to know about their decision and would lodge them in the protection home if they wish.

Dutta said those children who may wish to stay with their relatives could be eligible for a monthly sponsorship from the Government under the rules, which was Rs 2,000 per month as an aid to take care of their minimum basic needs.

The CWC will examine the cases regarding sending proposals in this regard to the Government through the District Child Protection Officer, Dutta stated.

She added that this sponsorship would continue till a child attains 18 years of age. Dutta said District Child Protection officers will from time to time visit the homes in order to see how the children were carrying on, and to ensure that the minors were not exploited.

She also said there were provisions to adopt orphans of such incidents by well-to-do families provided they fulfil the criterion through the official procedure.

Dr Lukumoni Goswami told this newspaper that CWC will soon approach the children and their relatives to know about their decision regarding moving into the protection home.

Goswami also added that she will request the district administration to deposit the ex gratia of Rs two lakh announced by the Government to the next of kin of those dead in cases of orphaned children by opening bank accounts to prevent duping or depriving the children their money by unscrupulous relatives.

Jorhat District Social Welfare Officer Sangita Borthakur told this newspaper that all five completely orphaned children in the district have wished to live with their relatives with whom they were currently staying, and the relatives too were keen to keep them.

Borthakur said that the district CWC, headed by Alok Rajkhowa, a senior retired official of the Social Welfare Department, after examining the cases will take the final decision regarding the stay of five children with their relatives at the district child protection home.

She also said that those who lost one of the parents could also apply for the sponsorship.

In the meantime, State Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, who led an all-party delegation to both the districts to take stock of the tragedy, told The Assam Tribune that the team would discuss about the orphaned children and suggest to the Government to take up a programme to support the children in order to enable them to move ahead in life in a stable manner.