Deadline for orphanage registration extended

The State government has extended the date for registration of orphanages in the State under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 to December 15 considering the difficulties faced by the institutions in complying with the Act.

Association of Orphanages and Charitable Institutions, Kerala, vice-president C.P. Kunhimuhammed said here on Saturday that most orphanages will register and temporarily function till March 31, so that the education of the children they accommodate is not affected. However, more than 75% of the institutions will shut down post-March as it is not financially viable for them to continue functioning complying with the JJ Act.

Charitable institutions

“Most of the orphanages are charitable institutions and do not have any income. Only around 25% of the orphanages in the State are in a position to comply with the stipulations of the Act,” he said. Representing the JDT group of institutions in Kozhikode, he said the JDT, as a big organisation with good revenue, and housing around 1,000 children, could afford to follow the rules, but most other orphanages in the State were in a bad situation.

District Child Protection Officer Sheema Mumtaz said the Department of Social Justice, in Kozhikode district alone, has received around 10 applications so far. The Department has made arrangements to create awareness among authorities of orphanages on the provisions of the JJ Act and the rehabilitation procedure.

“The receipt we provide for the applications has the value of a temporary registration,” she said. However, none of the orphanages have expressed unwillingness to register openly, she added. Association president Mathew.K.John said the association has obtained an injunction order from the Kerala High Court against the Central act.

Meanwhile, it will give the State government time to decide on the future of the children in the orphanages. “There are only a small percentage of children in these 1,500 orphanages who come under the provisions of the JJ Act. The State government can reallot them to those organisations willing to function under the Act and reclassify the other orphanages as boarding homes,” Fr. Mathew said.

Fr.Mathew said the association was willing to make adjustments based on the government decision other than by following the Act.

Article source: Kerala High Court

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