Udaipur : On one hand the authorities are getting stricter on voluntary organisations and state aided shelter homes to make sure adherence of COVID protocols at these places while on the other hand these centers are on the verge of dysfunctioning since they have not received the annual budget for the financial year April 2020-March 2021.
There are some 100 state aided open shelter homes and children shelter homes across Rajasthan which function on 90 percent aid from the state government and 10 percent self contribution under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme.The department of child rights is responsible for the budget allocation and district offices had been directed to disburse budget. While the open shelter homes are entitled to receive 5 lakh rupees and children homes 10lakh rupees on yearly basis, it has been a complete year that these centers have been functioning without the government support.
The norms provide for half yearly disbursement of budget so that centers can function properly but except Udaipur, no other districts have disbursed budget to these homes in their respective places. In Udaipur too, instead of complete payment, merely fifty percent of the entitlement has been released which is a meagre amount and not enough to meet the daily requirement of the children living in these centers.
“We have to provide food, cloth, shelter to the inmates.Wehave to pay the building rent, electricity and water bills. Big centers having goodwill arrange ration and other essentials on credit but every center is not capable to run this way” said manager of a shelter home in Rajsamand. As per admission norms, open shelters can keep 25 inmates while children homes have the capacity for 50 persons. Most of the homes across the state arepresenly running above 80 percent capacity.
The district legal service authorities at districts have been inspecting shelter homes frequently and reporting anomalies like lack of sanitisers, masks, oximeters and other necessary kits but they do not ask the reason why the amenities are not being provided, said another social worker.
The rules demand 8 staff for open shelter homes and 14 for shelter homes but due to financial constraints, centers are not able to pay timely salaries to their staff. “We had received similar complaints from shelter homes. The commission intervened and directed the department of child rights to ask district level offices to disburse pending payments at earliest so that inmates do not have to suffer. A virtual meeting is scheduled next week and we will look into this problem” Shailendra Pandya, member of the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights said.