Kingsway Camp CWC keeps no information about children, says RTI
The Child Welfare Committee's Kingsway Camp division has said in an RTI reply that it has not been maintaining adoption and foster care records of children handed over to shelter homes by parents or guardians. This has led to negligible monitoring of adoption agencies.
Seventeen parents have directly approached the CWC at Kingsway Camp through charity missionaries for surrendering their children this year taking the total number of surrendered children to 153 from 2009-2012 at the same division.
The Association for Development (AFD) Pratidhi, an NGO had filed the Right To Information application in August 31 this year.
The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has also said that only eight such children were catered to by other CWCs in the city.
According to the Delhi Juveline Justice Rules (JJR), a surrendered child is referred to as a child who in the opinion of CWC is relinquished on account of physical, emotional and social factors beyond the control of the parent or guardian.
Raaj Mangal Prasad, former Lajpat Nagar CWC chairperson said, “Records of CWC especially CWC, Kingsway Camp do not reveal as to why such a large number of children are being surrendered as the division has not maintained any records. Perhaps CWC members have failed to conduct proper inquiry and documents which is required under law because of ignorance.”
Prasad added that during his tenure, CWC members at the Lajpat Nagar division had successfully counselled two parents who took back their children.
Most of the parents and guardians surrender their children on grounds of poverty, unwed mothers, social economic situation among others.
In case of surrendered children there is a standard procedure laid down under the Juvenile Justice Rules for giving them for adoption.
The rules state: “Serious efforts shall be made by the Committee for counselling the parents, explaining the consequences of adoption and exploring the possibilities of parents retaining the child and if, the parents are unwilling to retain, then, such children shall be kept initially in foster care and arranged for their sponsorship.”
However, in the RTI reply, the CWC has written that it did not consider the option of keeping these children under foster care before giving them up for adoption.
Ignorance of law
“The real problem lies with the committee members as they are ignorant of the law. The government should organise orientation programmes for the members to ensure that they understand the process of legal provisions for children,” said Prasad.
A former member of the Kingsway Camp, who did not wished to be named said, “Guidelines are not being followed properly at the Kingsway CWC division as the chairperson is not cooperative.”
Vimla Paul, chairperson of the division, did not receive the phone calls made by the reporter.
Additionally, the RTI revealed that five children who were surrendered two to four years ago in Chhattisgarh were pending inquiry before the Kingsway Camp CWC in March, 2012.
The surrendered deed submitted by the CWC in response to the RTI shows that these children were not produced before any CWC.