Do not shut down orphanages: IUML

The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) has urged the State government not to abruptly shut down orphanages under the pretext of implementing the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. IUML State general secretary K.P.A. Majeed said here on Friday that the majority of Yatheem Khanas and child protection centres were functioning in an excellent manner and that the authorities should desist from the move to close them down.

The State government should constructively intervene in the issue, he said. Previously, at least 180 orphanages had informed the government that they were not willing to register and that they planned to close down their institutions. As many as 1,183 orphanages functioned in the State and 40 run by the Social Justice Department had been registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act.

These institutions had been under the regulatory control of the Orphanage Control Board, but these had to be registered under the Act, which cited that institutional care should be the last resort after exhausting the possibilities of adoption and foster care. Mr. Majeed said most of the orphanages had been established in the State as part of religious belief.

All these orphanages had been registered based on a Central Act of 1960. There was no mention in the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act of 2015 to reregister them again. However, now the move of the State government was to close down all the orphanages and Yatheem Khanas that had not been registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, Mr.

Majeed said. Memorandum He said a memorandum had been submitted to the Chief Minister stating these facts.

The Kerala High Court had in its order in a case recently pointed out that the orphanages that functioned in the State were not as such child protection centres, he said. Mr. Majeed said the order of the State government to register all the well- functioning orphanages under the Juvenile Justice Act had been issued with some ulterior motive.

Besides, he said that a petition moved in this regard by orphanage functionaries would come up before the Supreme Court on January 24.

In this context, the government should adopt an attitude in favour of the orphanages in the State, Mr.

Majeed said.

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