In an effort to provide supplementary support to families to prevent child destitution, abuse and exploitation, the state government has decided to implement ‘child sponsorship program’ under Juvenile Justice Act 2015 in a wider manner and has allocated 10 lakh rupees for this purpose.
Under this project, the state government provides financial support to the families of the children who are either staying in a correctional home for more than six months or the children who are physically disabled and are discarded by their families or if the family income of the child is less than 24,000 per annum.
“The project is aimed to rehabilitate these children in their own homes so that they can grow up in a better environment,” minister of state for women and child development, Sashi Panja said.
“In 2018-19 financial year the state has received applications for 687 sponsorships against 166 in the last financial year. Under Section 45 of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Act 2015 the department with 60:40 Centre and state sharing of funds provides 2,000 rupees a month to the parents or family members of a child so that he/she can stay at their own residences instead of staying in child care homes run by the state or any NGO,” Panja added.
“We are equipped to arrange for 943 child sponsorship in the state. An average quota of 40 sponsorships has been marked for each of the districts. All the districts have already given us list,” Panja added. According to the department, the maximum sponsorship cases have been received from South 24 Parganas (58) followed by West Midnapore (46) and Cooch Behar has submitted (41). There have been 40 applications each from East Midnapore, Alipurduar and Murshidabad.
A senior official of the department informed that parents sometimes shun their child citing economic constraints or even when a child is physically challenged affected with leprosy, HIV or similar conditions. If a child faces sexual abuse or is rescued after being trafficked or after being subjected to child labour parents refuse to accept their child.
“There have been cases when parents have refused to accept their child even after he/she is rehabilitated after staying at child care homes. This financial assistance is gradually yielding fruits and children are getting the opportunity to live with their own parents,” an official of the department said.
Source: Times of India