गुरुवार, 20 जुलाई 2017

Tribal Children in KISS Tribal School are under-nourished and anaemic

 Tribal Children in large number in KISS Tribal School, Bhubaneswar, Odisha  are under-nourished and anaemic- Says CWC Report

·        KISS Tribal School is not registered by Tribal Welfare Deptt.  Of Govt. of Odisha till yet.
·        Guidelines for ensuring a child safe environment in institutions where children are housed and /or study issued  by the Deptt. Of Women and child Development, Govt. of Odisha vide Notification No. 13626 dated 23.8.2014 is not followed.
·        The living rooms are found untidy, stinky and unhygienic as these are over-crowded.
·        No sufficient toilet available for huge number of children  living in the hostel
·        No   grievance redressal mechanism in the hostel. No complaint Box. Hence the grievances of the children are found not heard.   
·        Authority of KISS does not  care to appear before CWC in case of alleged child missing.

Dear friends
 Sri Achyut Samant, founder of KIIT /KISS, Patia, Bhubaneswar takes a lot of credit for providing free education including accommodation, food and clothing to  the  children of his tribal school. Many intellectuals, academician and Social activists, leaders of ruling political parties   highly praise the effort of Achyut Samant terming it  as  marvellous  and outstanding  for providing free education to 25000 tribal children. During visit of dignitaries of national and international organisations, Central Ministers, these tribal children were used  to welcome the guests and earn reputation for Samant.  KISS Authority has also succeeded in mobilising huge fund by using Tribal School as showcase for  expansion of his education business.   Sri Samant has also tried to gain Guinness World Book Record by using the tribal children for longest human chain in Bhubaneswar on occasion of observation of International Human Rights Day.  Sri Samant  has successfully marketed  children   to gain popular support of tribal MLAs and MPs  in Odisha and expanded his business of opening tribal schools in other districts  by acquiring huge land   showing KISS Tribal school  a model school in Odisha. It deserves  to be mentioned  here that   No Media or any outsiders are allowed  visit inside the school. Nobody knows  what is happening  in the school.

But recent Enquiry Report  of Child Welfare Committee, Khurda , a statutory  body under Juvenile Justice Act has exposed   disastrous condition of tribal  children of  the KISS Tribal school.  On complaint filed by Dr. Subas Mohapatra,  on 19.6.2017,  CWC Team conducted  enquiry visiting KISS Tribal school  and   noticed deplorable condition of tribal children.   The report produced by them on 6.7.2017 is as follows.

1.       It  is astonishing  that KISS Tribal School  is not recognised by Tribal Welfare Deptt.  Of Govt. of Odisha till yet.
2.       The Institute only accommodates poor tribal children. Academic proficiency  is not a criterion for selection. 
3.       The children are living as internees of the school hostel.
4.       No Govt. authority other than education Dept.  Inspects the activities of KISS.   
5.       There are no sufficient toilet available for huge number of children  living in the hostel. Hence children are suffering.
6.       The living space of the children are too congested  for the children  to live comfortably. Hence the Hostel rooms are found over-crowded.  Rooms are not cross-ventilated. Some single beds are shared by  two children.
7.       The living rooms are found untidy, stinky and unhygienic as these are over-crowded.
8.       Children are not given freedom to play  even to watch the games except a few selected  children  who participate in outside games.
9.       Small size sanitary napkins are provided to the adolescent girls as a result the older girls feel uncomfortable.
10.    Staffing pattern is too less to manage such  a huge crowd of children. For 400 children, there are only 2 supervisory staff.  On the other hand the staff are  not found  to be trained  on child rights and  child protection.
11.   There is no  grievance redressal  mechanism in the hostel. No complaint Box. Hence  the grievances  of the children are found not heard properly.
12.   Since there are may  children especially adolescents are living together, they have to have many issues  which need to be addressed  by the case worker/ counsellor. But the institution has not appointed any such staff.
13.    Though the management explained  that  the children’s health check up  is conducted  prior to admission and there is a separate hospital for the children. But in practice there is no sick room adjoined  to the hostels to accommodate the sick children.
14.   Children eat “chuda” and sugar  everyday at 7 am. After that they take  a meal and go to the school.  They come back  from school at 4 pm. They eat rice & curry  at night. No menu  chart followed.  Repetition of food menu and monotonous diet  is given to the children. Huge gap between two meals is observed. Due to insufficient nutrition , the children are  found undernourished  and anaemic. 
15.   There are several instances of children running away from  the institution  due to poor grievance redressal mechanism . Many times the run away children are produced before WC and the committee has noticed that no FIR is lodged by the authority.  Though the Child Welfare Committee has issued notice to the KISS authority to appear and explain about the reasons of runaway and non-reporting about the fact to the police. But the authority of KISS never cares to appear.

Recommendation of CWC , Khurda
1.       KISS should get recognition from the Deptt. Of Tribal Welfare.  So that the Govt. people can inspect the institution and give proper advice to improve standard of care.  A set of guideline  may be issued  to the institution to maintain standard  of care of the children  and to address grievance redressal mechanism  of the children
2.       Since the institution has accommodated some children in need of care and protection, it needs to be recognised by the Deptt. Of W&CD under Juvenile Justice Act (JJ Act).  This would help the government officials of JJ System to verify standard of care.
3.       Within the existing infrastructure, it is not correct to accommodate such a huge number of children. Hence either number of children should be reduced or necessary infrastructure should be developed to meet the needs of the children.
4.       As huge number of tribal children is residing at one place, it is the duty of the District Administration / State Govt.  to issue certain guidelines  to the institute  to adhere proper standard of care for the children.
5.        The guidelines  for ensuring  a child safe environment in institutions where  children are housed and /or study  issued  by the Deptt. Of Women and child Development, Govt. of Odisha  vide Notification  No. 13626 dated 23.8.2014  is  to be mandatorily followed  by the institution and  be monitored  by the District administration.
6.       The inmates  should be provided  with necessary toilet and bathroom  services  immediately  for comfortable  living  of the children  as it is their right.
7.       The DCPO/CWC/Tribal Welfare officer/ District administrative officer  should enquire into the matter thoroughly and prepare a detailed report.

Pradip Pradhan
M-9937843482
Date-20.7.17 

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