The state is among others under the ministry’s scanner for not reporting and addressing the complaints for cases of adoption and general cases of child abuse in these institutions. Central Adoption Resource Agency (CARA) officials told TOI that plenty of complaints have come from across the country.
The ministry directed the chief secretaries of all state governments and Union territories to send details about the complaints registered and the details of the disposal through their officials. Maharashtra has the maximum number of adoption agencies.
Deputy commissioner of WCD in the state Ravi Patil told TOI that they have directed all the district collectors to collate and share the information about the complaint redressal system in the state for all 63 homes.
“We have sought information by September 10 from district collectorates which will be sent to the ministry,’’ he said.
Earlier last month, the ministry had stated that there were only 43 complaints regarding child abuse and neglect in shelter homes and child care institutions from 2014 to 2018 reported in the country. Of these, 38 have been disposed of.
The government also shut down 28 specialised adoption agencies in six states after allegations of illegal adoptions, child abuse and flouting of norms under Juvenile Justice Actt surfaced.
In the wake of the alleged rape of inmates of a shelter home in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur and another in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, the ministry had requested parliamentarians to visit shelter homes periodically to check the living conditions and care provided to the children.
The government also received 203 complaints from 11 states and Union territories from the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in the last four years about children escaping from such homes.
According to Section 41 of the Juvenile Justice Act, it is the responsibility of the states to check the registration of all child care institutions funded by government and independent ones.At present, 7,109 child care institutions are registered while 401 are undergoing the process, the ministry’s officials said.
Directives have also been issued to nursing institutions to ensure that there is no malpractice of babies being stolen or exchanged, Lt Col Deepak Kumar, CEO of CARA, said. Enough awareness will be created for unwed mothers too.