Out of 433 children who escaped from homes operated by government and NGOs during 2010-15, 202 children (47 percent) were not traced
GN Bureau | February 3, 2017
There are shortcomings in the juvenile homes in Tamil Nadu, showed an audit report.
A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on the general and social sector for the year ended March 2015 of the Tamil Nadu government said that there were delays in finalisation of cases by Juvenile Justice Boards and Child Welfare Committees in the sampled districts.
Read: A glimpse into the life in juvenile observation home
Government of India funds released for Institutional Care component of Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) were not utilised by the Commissionerate of Social Welfare (CSW). ICPS funds were not released to the State Child Protection Society and the funds were managed by the Department.
As many as 375 homes under the control of Directorate of Social Defence (DSD) and CSW were not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act as of August 2015. Audit Report (General and Social Sector) for the year ended 31 March 2015.
Read: Juvenile laws in India: need for uniformity
The report said that basic infrastructure, amenities and provision of minimum standards of services were lacking in test-checked homes run by Government and NGOs.
Out of 433 children who escaped/ran away from homes operated by Government and NGOs during 2010-15, 202 children (47 percent) were not traced indicating lack of adequate surveillance and security arrangements in homes.
Read: Odisha’s juvenile homes in a poor state: CAG
The shortage in staff required for management of government homes was noticed. Vacancies in key posts of homes were more than 50 percent of the sanctioned strength in each category.
A performance audit on working of observation homes, children homes and special homes was conducted during March - July 2015.
With regard to provision and maintenance of hostels for Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes and Denotified Communities Students, the CAG report said that there were delays in admitting school students to hostels against additional seats. Sanction of additional seats and sharing of accommodation by more than one hostel in the same building resulted in overcrowding in these hostels, besides inadequate availability of bathrooms, toilets and other amenities.
Construction of newly sanctioned buildings for hostels were not commenced due to delay in identification of site and indecisiveness. Vacancies in key posts in hostels remained unfilled. Shortfall in conducting medical camps and hostel inspections was also noticed.
The CAG report went on to say that free Distribution of laptop computers to students of government/government aided schools and colleges, laptop computers were distributed belatedly to students after the close of the academic year, due to delayed release of funds to Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT). Laptop computers were distributed to students studying in self-financing courses in Government Aided colleges, though they were not eligible under the scheme. There were losses due to theft in schools and colleges, which indicated lacuna in safe storage of laptop computers.
In other significant audit observations, the CAG report referred to the failure of the University of Madras to identify suitable personnel to operate and maintain the Virtual University Programme and the Tele-education project created at a cost of Rs 4.91 crore resulted in idling of the equipment besides non-achievement of objective of tele-education.
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