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Compensation for kids who face abuse at shelter homes

Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that a compensation of Rs. 1.50 lakh would be given to every child who faces sexual or physical abuse at shelter homes in the state.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and G S Kulkarni was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations on the condition of children at special homes and shelter homes.

Additional government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani told the court that government had decided to give a compensation of Rs. 1.50 lakh to victims of abuse at shelter homes.

“Vocational training will also be given to the child. The file is presently pending before the state law and judiciary department for final clearance,” Vagyani said.

The court sought to know if such a child would be eligible for other government schemes. Vagyani said he would take instructions and inform the court after four weeks.

The judges also suggested that the state can provide vocational training to all the children at the shelter homes who are above 16 years old, so that they can use that training to earn a livelihood after leaving the institution.

“Not every child in a special home or shelter home is disabled or a slow learner. If they can be given some vocational training, the problem of what they would do after they turn 18 is solved. After they turn 18, they cannot stay at shelter homes,” Justice Kanade said.

Vagyani informed the court that a policy on the issue of providing vocational training is also pending for clearance and would be okayed expeditiously.

The court also noted that the members of Child Welfare Committee need to be specially trained to handle cases of children from shelter homes. “These people do not apply their minds and take ad-hoc decisions without taking all aspects into consideration,” the court observed.

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