In an extraordinary order in the matter of “Exploitation of Children in Orphanages in the State of Tamil Nadu” [WP(Crl.)No.102/2007 & CrMP No.4359/2010] on 1 September 2010, the Supreme Court of India directed the North Eastern States and relevant Central Ministries to vacate the school premises currently under the occupation of the security forces. The directions are reproduced below:-
a) The Deputy Commissioner of N.C. Hills should ensure that the Schools, Hostels and Children Home Complex presently occupied by the armed/security forces are vacated within a month’s time and it should be ensured that the school buildings and hostels are not allowed to be occupied by the armed or security forces in future for whatsoever purpose.
b) The State of Manipur and Assam are directed to esure that no child below the age of 12 years or those at primary school level are sent outside for pursuing education to other States until further orders.
c) The Ministry of H.R.D., Government of India is directed to submit a list of schools and hostels (district-wise),collected from the State Governments/Union of Territories Administrations which are currently occupied by the armed/security forces in the North Eastern States duly indicating the date from which or duration for which such schools and hostels have been occupied by the security forces.
d) The Ministry of DONER is directed to hold special meetings with North Eastern States especially Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland to assess their reqauirement in terms of educational infrastructure, such as construction of school buildings, hostels and children homes for support by the Ministry.
e) The N.C.P.C.R shall continue to be engaged with the ‘source as well as destination’ States for addressing the protection issues concerning children taken from one State to another. It is directed to hold meetings and apprise the situation/progress in this matter to this Court.
f) The Union of India and all the State Governments are directed to render necessary assistance to NCPCR.
g) The Ministry of Home Affairs is directed to ensure that the para military forces vacate the school and hostel buildings occupied by them and submit an Action Taken Report to this Court as well as NCPC within two months from today. The Ministry shall file a proper affidavit in this matter on the next date of hearing of this Writ Petition.
The directions were issued following submission of the Report of NCPCR on the Inquiry into the Transportation of Children from Assam and Manipur to Tamil Nadu, as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, vide Order dated 31.03.2010.
The excerpts of report of the NCPCR that exposes the condions under which children are forced to go out of the North East to mainly Southern India for the purposes of education is reproduced below:
Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, vide its Order dated 31.03.2010, issued in the [WP (CRL) No. 102/2007 & CrMP No.4359/2010], asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (herein after referred to as “NCPCR”) to conduct an inquiry into the large scale transportation of children from one State to another, including from Manipur and Assam to Tamil Nadu and to submit a report within a period of three weeks.
On the receipt of the above-mentioned Order from the Registry of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India on 5th April 2010, vide Dy. No.7420/2007/PIL/WRIT dated 3.3.2010, a team consisting of Shri Binod Kumar Sahu, Registrar, NCPCR and Dr. Ramanath Nayak was entrusted with the task of inquiring into transportation of children from Assam and Manipur to Tamil Nadu. The team visited Tamil Nadu (Chennai, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari) from 09.04.2010 to 13.04.2010, N.C. Hills District of Assam (HQ: Haflong) from 15.04.2010 to 17.04.2010 and Manipur (Imphal and Tamenglong District) from 17.04.2010 to 21.04.2010 in connection with the matter. During their visit, the inquiry team interacted with the senior officers of the Police, Social Welfare/Social Defence Departments as well as the Chairperson/Members of Concerned Child Welfare Committees, District Administration in both the States, including the Commissioner (Social Welfare), Additional DGP (Crime), Collector, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu as well as the Chief Secretary, Director and Commissioner (Social Welfare), DGP and IGP (Crime) in Manipur. The team was also able to interact with a couple of rescued children in Haflong and a large number of rescued children in Imphal and Tamenglong alongwith their parents. A resume of the Inquiry Visits is enclosed as Annexure- A. NCPCR would like to record its appreciation of the cooperation extended by the Government of Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Assam to its Inquiry Team.
The Specific instances of transportation of children from North- Eastern States to the Southern States:
(i) 52 children belonging to Tousem Sub-division of Tamenglong District, Manipur and 24 children belonging to N.C. Hills of Assam, rescued from Kanyakumari District in January 2010.
Circumstances in which they were transported and conditions in which they were found:
One Mr. Nambuing Paul Newme, a native of Aben village of Tousem Sub-division in Tamenglong District, Manipur, initially brought 18 children from his native place to Chennai sometime in May 2007. At a later stage, he again brought 58 male children and 18 female children belonging to ZEME Naga community from both his native place in Tousem sub- division and N.C. Hills District in Assam in 2008. He brought these children by giving hope to their parent(s)/ guardians that he will enable them to access better education. Initially, he kept these children in ‘Hands of Compassion Home’ at Allamatti, near Red Hills, Chennai and admitted them into Samuel Henry Higher Secondary School, Ambattur, Chennai. Later on he came in contact with one Pastor called Shaji who assured him that he would provide excellent care, education and good food. Based upon this assurance he handed over 76 male children to Pastor Shaji sometime in May 2009. Pastor Shaji took these children initially to Assembly of God Church at Manchavilaham (Thanuvachapuram), Kuzhithurai in Tamil Nadu and kept them there, for about 2 months. Later on he shifted these 76 children to a place at Palavilai called Kuzhithurai in Kanyakumari District after purchasing the land and constructing a Home there. He got this Home named as ‘Bethesda Blessing Children Home’. However, this Children Home had no registration/recognition from the Government under the Orphanages and other Charitable Homes (Control and Supervision) Act, 1960 (hereinafter called OCH Act) or under Section 34 (3) of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 (hereinafter called J.J. Act). The children were kept in a small hall on dormitory basis without any other infrastructure. There were no sanitation facilities. There was a structure for 5 toilets but no toilet was in usable condition. Children wishing to go to the toilet were made to go outside on a hill top close to the home. There was no separate kitchen room with a cook. Hence, children were made to cook their food in an open space outside their living room. They were not having adequate breakfast regularly. The food provided to them was not of quality. For bathing purposes they had to walk a few kilometers to a river. Children were going to study in the Royal Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Pacode by van. The Home did not have any documentation regarding the children in the form of register, photographs, etc. the children did not have contacts with their parents/families for more than two years. They did not have any freedom or recreation. These 76 children were all boys in the age group of 6 to 14 years. Due to lack of nutritious food, many rescued children were found weak and having eye sight problem. A through medical examination of 23 children got conducted by the St. Anthony High School where these children are presently having residential education, revealed that 07 such children were having serious eye sight problem due to malnourishment.
Rescue of the Children:
The District Social Welfare Officer, Kanyakumari came to know about the above Home from some sources. She informed the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), Tirunelveli on 07.01.2010 about the Home and children living in such poor conditions. The CWC deputed the Superintendent of the Observation Home, Tirunelveli to visit the Home. When the Superintendent visited the unregistered Home on 23.01.2010 afternoon, she was confronted by Pastor Shaji and her wife who were the managers of Home. The Superintendent returned back and went again along with the local inspector and the Probation Officer with full police protection after discussing the rescue plan with the District Collector, Deputy Director (Social Defence) Madurai Region, the then DIG (Southern Range), SP and the CWC Chairperson and Members.
The children were ultimately rescued and brought to the Saranalayam Children Home at Tirunelveli on the mid-night of 23rd January, 2010. They remained under the interim care of Saranalayam on the basis of CWC’s Orders issued on 24.01.2010. Children were taken good care by Saranalayam Home and District Administration, Tirunelveli.
All the 76 children were repatriated from Tirunelveli on 15/02/2010 with escorts from Police and Social Welfare Deptts. of Tamil Nadu and Manipur via Chennai and Guwahati to their respective native places. 52 children of Manipur reached Imphal on 19/02/2010. They were restored to their respective parents/guardians by the Social Welfare Department through the Child Welfare Committee, Tamenglong. 22 children of N.C. Hills were received by the Social Welfare Department of Government of Assam at Haflong and handed over to their respective parents/guardians through the CWC, N.C. Hills. The remaining two children who had no parents were found staying with the President of the Zeme Naga Mothers Association at the time of visit of the Inquiry Team to the place on 16.04.2010.
23 out of 52 rescued children of Manipur have been admitted to different classes of the St. Anthony High School at Imphal which is having boarding facilities. So far, the arrangement is free of cost. But the boarding school needs support in terms of scholarship from the Hills Department and sponsorship from the Social Welfare Department under ICPS Scheme for individual children towards their uninterrupted education. The remaining 29 children have been reportedly admitted to Shine Public School at Mandue Village, Junior High School at Npaningdi Village, Wisdom School in Tousem Sub-division and one each in Christian Grammar School, Kendriya Vidyalaya and Higher Secondary School, Tamenglong. But since the educational arrangement for these children is temporary and without any long term sustainable support, the re-migration of these children due to the poor conditions of their families, lack of hostel facilities, remoteness of their villages, lack of quality education, etc., cannot be ruled out. Some of these children are also having a single parent.
22 rescued children, who have been handed over to their respective parents/guardians in N.C. Hills, without any rehabilitation plan by the District Autonomous Council/Government of Assam, do require urgent intervention for preventing their re-migration/trafficking.
Detailed directions have been sought in para 5.1 and 5.2 for the required measures to be taken by the State Government of Manipur and Assam towards long term care, protection and education of these children.
The Tamil Nadu Police has booked Pastor Shaji and Mr. Nambuing Paul Newme as accused in the case. Mr. Shaji was arrested on 12.02.2010 and Mr. Paul was arrested on 13.03.2010 after sustained effort of the Tamil Nadu Police. Mr. Shaji has been granted bail on 05.03.2010 and Mr. Paul has been granted bail on 19.03.2010 by Addl. District Judge, Tirunelveli. They have been charged for offences u/s 344,323,324,362 IPC and u/s 3(1) (v) (vi) of SC/ST (POA) Act and u/s 23, 26, 71 of Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The DSP, Kanyakumari had requested the District Administration, Tamenglong and N.C. Hills for sending the cast certificates in respect of the rescued children and the accused; Mr. Paul, in order to complete the formalities for filing the charge-sheet under the SC/ST (POA) Act. The caste certificates have been sent by the Tamenglong District Administration. However, the same was awaited by the SP, Kanyakumari from the District Administration of N.C. Hills. The sequence of events of the Criminal/Police Investigation of the Case is enclosed as Annexure-C.
(ii) 22 Manipuri children including 11 girls rescued from Chennai on 21.01.2010:
22 Manipuri children which included 11 girls were rescued in Chennai on 21.01.2010 after they were found in squalid conditions in a house at Sholinganallur and in Reach Children Home at Mogappair. As per the report of the Tamil Nadu Police, such children were not treated well and were made to do the personal work of the Director of the Reach Children Home and his family members. 3 of the boys were engaged by the Director of the children home in compound wall construction work in his house at Madhavaram and they were beaten by the son of this Director when they failed to do the work in the home properly. One of the girls was asked by the Director of the children home to massage his body during night time and was molested. Two girls were reportedly molested by the son of the Director of children home and one of their relatives respectively. 16 of such rescued children were sent back to Manipur from Chennai on 04.02.2010 and 3 of them were sent on 15.02.2010 through the coordinated action of the Tamil Nadu Police, CWC, Chennai, Social Defence Department of Government of Tamil Nadu and their counterparts in Manipur. 2 of Manipuri children were taken back by their parents from Chennai on 20.01.2010, while. 1 such child was taken back by his parent in June 2009. The main persons responsible for transporting these children are Mr. Herojit Samom and Mr. Rakesh, 2 natives of Manipur living in Chennai. The main person who has been accused of exploiting the children is Mr. Immanuel. 9 accused in the case, including the main accused, who were initially arrested have been released on bail. However, the action of Tamil Nadu Police in prosecuting them is reportedly in progress. The process followed in the identification, pre-rescue planning, actual rescue, post-rescue and repatriation to Manipur may be seen at Annexure-E.
(iii) 27 Manipuri children rescued from Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu:
During briefing meeting in Chennai on 10/04/2010, the Inquiry Team was informed by the Crime Branch of Tamil Nadu Police about 27 children (18 boys and 8 girls in the age group of 4 and 16 years), who were rescued by the combined effort of the Social Welfare Department of Tamilnadu Government and Tamilnadu Police on 26/03/2010 from an unrecognized home run by an NGO called Bethal Development Trust at Kellaliyur Village within the jurisdication of Samabanarkoil Police Station of Nagapattinam District on 26.03.2010. The Home was run by a pastor called Henry Austin, a native of Tamil Nadu, with the help of his wife, Ms. Shella Himbek who is a native of Manipur. They brought these children to Tamil Nadu in August, 2009. The Home was found functioning without basic amenities. The children were kept in the home without education and lack of sanitary facility. After their rescue from this Home, the boys were kept in interim care at the Children Home for Boys at Thanjavur and the girls remained in interim care at Government Observation Home in Trichy. The children got repatriated to Manipur with 4 Police personnel (2 men and 2 women) and 2 Social Defence staff of Government of Tamilnadu on 13/04/2010. The children reached Manipur on 16/04/2010 and stayed in the Government Observation Home in Imphal. Parents of the children from Chandel, Churachandpur and Senapati Districts came and collected them from the Social Welfare Department through their respective Child Welfare Committee Chairperson/Member.
Complaint has been registered against Pastor Henry Austin and Ms. Shella Himbeck, the main accused for offence under Section 365, 354, 420 of IPC and Section 23 of the JJ Act. These main accused were absconding while the inquiry team was on a visit to Tamil Nadu. They need to be brought to book by the Tamil Nadu Police without further delay.
(iv) Children living in the Gilgal Children Home at Keela Pappakudi and in the Reach Hostel at Ambasamudram Taluka in Tiruneveli District, Tamil Nadu:
During the briefing meeting with the District Administration, Tirunelveli on 11/04/2010, the inquiry team was also informed about the 109 children from Manipur, Tirupura, Andaman & Nicobar Island, Kerela and Tamil Nadu, who are living in the Gilgal Children Home at Keela Pappakudi and also about 50 Manipuri children who are living in the Reach Hostel at Ambasanudram Taluka in Tiruneveli District, Tamil Nadu. A team led by the District Social Welfare Officer, Tirunelveli and the Chairperson of the CWC, Churachandpur have visited these Homes and have found the children in good condition. But these Homes are not recognized by the Government.
(v) 18 girl children transported from Tousem sub-division of Manipur (10) and NC Hills (8) to Bangalore via Chennai by
Mr. Nambuing Paul Newme:
Sometime in 2008, Mr. Nambuing Paul Newme took 18 girl children (9 from Tousem, Tamenglong district of Tamilnadu and 9 from NC Hills, Assam) to Chennai for better education. They were initially kept in the hands of Compassion at Red Hills and Chennai and admitted to Alice Rebecca Memorial School in Chennai. When Pastor Shaji of Kanyakumari district refused to take these 18 girls for care and education, Mr. Paul moved the children to Bangalore on 23/04/2009 and got them admitted to the New Life Centre for Girls, run by Ms. Nirmala Vasanth Kumar and Ms. Arleen Sarabai at Bharathi Nagar. This Home is not registered / recognized by the Govt. of Karnataka. 4 girls were reportedly attending R.T.C Primary School in Bangalore, whereas 14 girls were attending the government Kannada and Tamil Model Primary School. The CWC-II for Bangalore Urban District had inspected the Home in question and reported to NCPCR in April 2010 that these children were living in good condition. Whereas the Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Child Rights, who had visited the Home in May 2010, reported that the children are homesick. They want to go back to their homes. Accordingly, the Manipur Government (Director, Social Welfare) was asked to be in touch with the Govt. of Karnataka (Deptt. of WCD) for the repatriation of the children belonging to their State. It has been understood from the Deputy Director, Deptt. of Women and Child Development, Govt. of Karnataka that the Manipur children are still living in the New Life Centre but not going to School. Whereas the 9 children from N.C. Hills of Assam have been repatriated by the Social Welfare Department.
(vi) 24 children from Manipur living at Oasis Home, Anna Nagar (West) Kumber Colony, Chennai:
24 children from Manipur were brought by a person called Deven and kept at Oasis Home at Anna Nagar (West) Kumber, Chennai reportedly with the consent of their parents. Parents of 12 children wanted them back. Accordingly, these 12 children, 9 boys and 3 girls, have been released from this home and have been repatriated from Chennai on 25/06/2010 with proper escorts from Police and Social Defence Department accompanied by the Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, Bishnupur, Manipur. The children have reportedly been handed over to their parents. The remaining 12 children are still living in the same home.
76 children, in the age group of 6-14 years (52 belonging to Tousem Sub-division, Tamenglong district in Manipur and 24 belonging to N.C. Hills, Assam) were found living in a pitiable condition in a dingy room called Bethesda Blessing Children Home at Kaliyakavilai, Kuzhithurai in Kanyakumari district. They were spotted by the District Social Welfare Officer sometime in the 1st week of January, 2010 and rescued by a Team led by the Superintendent of the Observation Home, Tirunelveli on 23rd Jan., 2010 with police protection. They were repatriated to their respective parents / guardians on 22nd February, 2010 with the involvement of the concerned Child Welfare Committees, Social Welfare/Social Defence Department and Police in the States of Tamil Nadu, Assam and Manipur.
The ‘source’ States in North-East are Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Source districts in Manipur are: Tamenglong, Senapati, Chandel, Bishnupur, Churachandpur, Imphal (West) and Imphal (East). Source district in Assam is N.C. Hills (Headquarter – Haflong). The ‘destination’ States are Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
The main reason for children being sent out by the poor parents to far off places in Southern States is due to their high expectation of quality education for their children which is not available in their own places.
There are both ‘push’ & ‘pull’ factors responsible for the large scale migration / transportation / trafficking of children from the North-Eastern States, especially Assam, Manipur & Meghalaya.
The Push factors are:
Remoteness of areas / places having no easy access to schools;
Lack of basic infrastructure such as road connectivity, power, hospitals etc.;
Insurgency, resulting in lack of sense of security among the parents for sending their children walking to their schools;
Lack of means at the disposal of the poor parents to send their children to boarding schools within the State or outside;
Virtual absence of the concerned officials / functionaries of the Government at sub-district and block level to address the education, health and developmental problems of vulnerable families.
The Pull factors are:
Unregulated activities of the middle men who are transporting children from the source areas on the pretext of education with the knowledge of the parents of the children;
Running illegal / unregistered Homes by some people as a source of profit or source of earning their own livelihood/comfort;
All-out effort made by pastors and other category of persons who are reaching out to source areas through the middle men for getting children in order to obtain financial support from churches within the country or donations from outside;
Lack of regular inspections and surveillance in the receiving Districts / States by the Social Welfare / Social Defence authorities and / or Anti- Human Trafficking Units / Local Police;
In most of the cases the alleged traffickers / middlemen lure/dupe the parents and children with the false promise of providing free education with boarding facilities;
Most of the trafficking cases have revealed the ignorance of the parents and guardians about the motives of the traffickers / middlemen and the conditions in which their children are living at the destination points;
In most of the cases, the consent of the parents is obtained orally by the traffickers / middlemen and when the latter are caught, they get the consent letters prepared from the parents with the help of the local tribal council representatives / community leaders;
In most of the cases children are being deprived of parental contact, emotional security and at times basic facilities;
Majority of these children from North-East who are brought to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are put in Tamil or Kannada medium schools for study. It is not that easy for these children to have education in the languages which are not spoken in their States.
There have been several instances of child trafficking from Manipur in recent years. A report submitted by the Director (Social Welfare), Government of Manipur to the Under Secretary, Department of Home, Government of Manipur in connection with a complaint referred by NHRC for appropriate action may be seen in this regard at Annexure-J. Government of Manipur has of late taken various steps to address the issue of child trafficking and large scale migration/transportation of children from the State to other States. A list of steps reportedly taken by the State Government may be seen at Annexure-K. But much more needs to be done by the State Government to effectively address the root causes of child trafficking/large scale migration of children on the ground, which has been recommended at para 5 below.
The conflict situation in NC hills which has reportedly been subsiding now and the lack of access to quality educational facilities are the factors responsible for trafficking/transportation/migration of children from the District to outside States. The District Superintendent of Police has issued an Advisory on 17/04/2010 to the community leaders for desisting from sending children of tender age to outside States for education or any other purpose without verifying the background of the institutions/organizations seeking to take the children and not to send any child from the District outside without intimation to him. The steps taken by the NC Hills District Autonomous Council and/or Government of Assam for the prevention of trafficking/large scale migration of children as well as for the long term rehabilitation of rescued children including their full time formal school education are not adequate. Much more needs to be done in a time bound manner by the NC Hills District Autonomous Council, District Administration and Government of Assam for the long-term educational rehabilitation of rescued children as well as children from vulnerable families in the source areas, in order to prevent large scale transportation of children/trafficking.
The Government of Tamil Nadu has of late taken some steps to identify the children homes/institutions/orphanages which are being run in the State without any authorization under law, i.e., recognition under Section 13 of the OCH Act, 1960 and registration under Section 34 (3) of the JJ Act, 2000. Out of 2050 child care institutions identified by the Anti Human Trafficking units of the Tamil Nadu Police, about 853 institutions are being run without recognition/registration/license. About 34 orphanages/child care institutions in different Districts have been closed down by the State Government after they have been found not maintaining the prescribed standards and procedures as per the OCH Act, 1960 and JJ Act, 2000. The children from such orphanages have reportedly been transported to the nearest licensed Agencies. Since the Board of Control under the OCH Act is not in existence, the State Government has delegated its powers to all the District Collectors to issue provisional recognition/registration under the OCH Act, 1960, and/or JJ Act, 2000 after due verification of the bonafide of the institutions as well as infrastructural facilities and child care standards maintained. Of late special inspection team consisting of 5 persons from the Department of Revenue, Police, Social Welfare, Education and Labour have been constituted by the various District Administrations in the State, including the District Administration of Kanyakumari and Tiruneveli to verify the registration/relevant documents and situation and conditions of the children in such homes/institutions. An order of the Hon’ble High Court of Madras dated 25/01/2010 (Annexure-L) issued in the matter of Registrar General, High Court of Madras Vs. Chief Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu and Ors., in which the State Government was directed to filing report/statement giving all the recognized homes in districts and also with regard to the institutions which are not so recognized against which action is already taken or is contemplated, is felt relevant to mention in this regard. It is also relevant to bring to the attention of the Hon’ble Apex Court the compliance report (Annexure-M) filed by the DGP of Tamil Nadu in the Hon’ble High Court of Madras on 29/03/2010 pursuant to the said order. The Government of Tamil Nadu has to take many more steps to check the mushrooming of illegal children homes/institutions and to prevent people from running/keeping unrelated children. Recommendations to this effect have been made in para 5.
NCPCR, before inquiring into the matter of large scale transportation/children from Manipur and Tamil Nadu on the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, has been seized of a similar issue, i.e. large scale migration of children from Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya to various Districts in Karnataka. It had facilitated interstate meeting between both the States on 18/02/2010. It is having a review meeting with the Government of Meghalaya on the issue in New Delhi on 23/07/2010. NCPCR had also intervened on the basis of a complaint, in the matter of transportation of children from Nagaland to the Nalgounda District in Andhra Pradesh. Due to the intervention of NCPCR, the children were rescued and repatriated to their families in Nagaland and the culprits are under prosecution.
It is the belief of NCPCR that migration/transportation/trafficking of children from North-Eastern States not only to Southern States but also to the other parts of the country is taking place. The figures and instances would be many more than mentioned in para 3 of this report. Therefore, it would like to continuously be engaged with the issue in a larger perspective and in a holistic manner and closely monitor the actions/inactions of the ‘source’ States as well as the ‘destination’ States in this regard.
Considering the push and pull factors responsible for the large-scale migration/transportation of children from North-Eastern States to Southern States, NCPCR is of opinion that the solution to the problems can be found through: (i) proper residential educational rehabilitation of children from vulnerable families in the source areas; (ii) stamping out the unregulated children homes/orphanages/child care institutions in the destination States as well as in the source states; (iii) as well as introducing effective mechanism for monitoring of the situation at the block, sub-district, State and Central level. From this perspective, NCPCR seeks the following directions from the Honorable Apex Court:
Govt. of Manipur to do the following:
Tousem and Tamei Guest House at Tamenglong, which were reported being under occupation by some squatters, should be got vacated and allotted to the Social Welfare Department for running a Children Home for facilitating the care and education of the rescued children at the District Headquarters. The Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong should ensure this within a month’s time, so that, 29 rescued children who are still living in their far flung villages can be accommodated in this Home. One tutor-cum-counsellor, one care-taker, and one cook, one helper should be provided to this Home by the Social Welfare Department of the Govt. of Manipur for taking care of these children. A Home Management Committee should be constituted under the Chairmanship of the ADM, Tamenglong with the Chairperson of the Child Welfare Committee, Zonal Education Officer, District Social Welfare Officer, and Chief Medical Officer as other members, for overseeing the management and functioning of this Home as well as the quality and conditions of living of children in such Home including their educational advancement. Such Committee should meet at least once in a month to take stock of the situation. The Members of the Committee should visit the Home at least once in a week on a rotation basis.
The construction of Girls Hostels at Tousem Hq., Tamenglong District Hq.,Tengkonjang, and Noney, initiated under the Multi Sectoral Development Programme(MSDP), as well as that of the Girls Hostel Ashram School at Noney and Tamei Hq. under BRGF Scheme should be completed and made fully functional within 03 months in order to provide boarding facilities for the girls from the interior areas of the district to have easy access to better education at semi-urban townships.
Scholarships should immediately be provided to these children under the Project “ASSIST” Scheme of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) implemented through the National Foundation for Communal Harmony and also Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme implemented by the Hills/ Tribal Development Department of the Government of Manipur. The Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong with assistance from Zonal Education Officer (ZEO) and Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee, Tamenglong, should get the necessary paper work completed from the respective parents/guardians of not only the 52 rescued children of Tousem Sub-division but also for other vulnerable children in the District and submit the proposal to the National Foundation for Communal Harmony in New Delhi and to the Hills Department, Govt. of Manipur at Imphal respectively within a month’s time. The National Foundation for Communal Harmony and the Hills Department of the Govt. of Manipur should actively consider such proposal for providing scholarship to these needy children expeditiously in order to enable them to continue their studies uninterruptedly. The whole process should be completed within 2 months time. This would also dissuade the vulnerable families from the district to sending their children to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, or other States for free education. This would also prevent the trafficking of children out of the State for illegal/ illicit purposes.
Civil Society Organizations, such as, Indigenous Women and Children Foundation (IWCF) in Tamenglong, Shine Public School in Tousem and St. Anthony High School in Imphal, who have experience in educational rehabilitation and who have been taking care of most of the rescued children belonging to the District, need to be supported in such endeavor on a long term basis.
Sufficient number of Hostels (separately for boys and girls) should be constructed both in Tamenglong District Headquarters as well as in Tousem Sub-divisional Headquarters under the Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), Backward Region Development Grant Fund (BRGF) Scheme and assistance from DONER Ministry. The Deputy Commissioner, Tamenglong should submit complete proposals in this regard through the concerned Departments of the State Government within a month’s time and should pursue the matter for its early clearance from the State Government of Manipur and/or the concerned Ministries of the Central Government. These hostels are felt extremely necessary for providing boarding facilities to children from poor families without proper means of subsistence and if such hostels could come up, children can stay in such places and get better education in comparatively better schools, such as Kendriya Vidyalaya, Navodaya Vidyalaya, and other public schools which are not having boarding facilities. The scholarships would help them to meet their recurring expenses towards their food, dress, school fee, examination fee, etc. These Hostels should have local level Management Committees. The ownership of these hostels may rest with the District Council and/or Hill Department.
Considering the growing number of children in need of care and protection, including orphan and destitute children, sufficient number of children homes (separately for boys and girls) should be set up in both Tamenglong District headquarters as well as at Tousem Sub-divisional headquarters under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS). At the moment, there is no children home in Tamenglong run or aided by the Government. Therefore, the Social Welfare Department should move a proposal to the Ministry for Development of North-East Region (DONER), Government of India, through the State Planning Board for one time support towards the construction of children homes (one each separately for boys and girls both in Tamenglong and Tousem). In the Inter-state Meeting held between Government of Karnataka and Meghalaya on similar issues at NCPCR Office, the DONER Ministry’s representative indicated that such proposals fall within the ambit of the assistance provided by his Ministry as the construction of homes, hostels and school building, etc. are also in the nature of infrastructural development. However, recurring expenses for the maintenance of such homes, food, dress, medical treatment, recreational facilities, excursion and outing facilities, etc. should be mobilized by the Social Welfare Department under the newly launched Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of JJ Act, 2000, should be activated in all the Districts within two months time by the Social Welfare Deptt. under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights must be constituted in the State under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 within 2 months time
That no child below 12 years or those at primary school level is sent outside for pursuing education in other States.
That more interfacing should take place between the District Administration/Revenue Administration/ Development Administration, Educational Administration and Health Administration with the Public
through the Apex Tribal Councils, Village Authorities/Councils and Students Unions on children issues.
The State Government should ensure that the district level officials such as, the Deputy Commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner/District Zonal Education Officer, Chief Executive Officer of the District Council, Chief Medical Officer, District Programme Officer of ICDS, District Social Welfare Officer visit the sub-divisional and block headquarters more frequently, especially to Tousem, and conduct Public Hearings to listen the grievances of public with regard to the fulfillment of children’s entitlements to education, health, food and nutrition, safety and security, etc. and to redress the same. The reports submitted by the district level officers on their filed visits should be reviewed by the Deputy Commissioner for remedial action. The Deputy Commissioner should send a report to the Chief Secretary with a copy to the Nodal Officer and NCPCR on monthly basis regarding the situation of rescued children and the progress in the actions taken by the District Administration regarding their educational rehabilitation as described in the preceding paragraphs as well as the preventive strategies adopted for combating the migration/transportation of children from the district to outside the State. The SDM, Tousem should spend more time in Tousem than in Tamenglong or Imphal.
The Secretary / Commissioner and Director of the Departments of School/Secondary Education, Hills/Tribal Development, Health and Family Welfare, Home and IGP, SPD, SSA, NRHM, and SACS as well as the Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts should extend all necessary co-operation to the Director, Social Welfare, who has been designated as the Nodal Officer of the Government of Manipur in the matters on which the respective departments have actions to take with a sense of urgency pertaining to the issues involved in the prevention of the large-scale migration of children from the State as well as for the long-term rehabilitation of rescued children.
The Meeting of the Coordination Committee constituted in April under the Chairpersonship of the Chief Secretary of Manipur for addressing the issue of trafficking should be held on monthly basis and a copy of the minutes should be sent to NCPCR.
The State Government should propose to the respective Governments in the destination States (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) for institutionalizing a Joint Task Force towards effective coordination required for verification, pre-repatriation planning, actual repatriation and prosecution of offenders.
There should be more inter-state meetings between the Government of Manipur on the one hand and the Government of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the other hand.
In the interest of the children, the Government of Manipur should also make the following health interventions in the Tamenglong District:
Early completion of the construction of 50 bedded District Hospital at Tamenglong under NLRCP, the O.T. building under RSVY, the fencing of the District Hospital under the State Action Plan, the quarters for the doctors by the DRDA.
Early construction and installation of Transformer (separate power line) at the District Hospital, Tamenglong by the Power Department;
The Power Genset is to be made fully functional with the control panel and the INCENERATOR to be installed at the District Hospital by the Power Department;
There must be a Blood Bank or Blood storage facility in the District Hospital, Tamenglong on immediate basis;
Early construction and installation of Tamenglong by the State T.P.Cell;
Construction of buildings for the Public Health Sub-Centres (PHSCs) at Chaton, Sonpram, Rangkhung, Awangkhul, Nurathel, Numgnang, Namtiram and Longkaiphun;
To open more PHSCs in the Tamenglong district at : New Imphal, Tatbung in Tousem Sub-division; Kadi, Kuilong & Dikiuram at Tamei Sub-Division; Bamgaijang, Sangrungpang or Namkaolong (Kaikao) at Tamenglong Sub-division; Charoi Tupul, Taosang at Nungba Sub-division;
More specialist doctors and medical officers need to be posted at District Hospital, Tamenglong as well as at various PHCs in the district.
Govt. of Assam to do the following:
Two orphaned children, who were staying with the President of Zeme Naga Mothers’ Association at Lodi Village at the time of the visit of the Inquiry Team, should be admitted to the Orphan Home at Haflong. Deputy Director (Social Welfare), N C Hills should initiate the process for the formalities of admission and the Principal Secretary of N C Hills Autonomous Council should obtain approval of the Council for such admissions. Such children need to be admitted to the nearby schools in Haflong in the class appropriate to their age without waiting for Transfer Certificate from the Royal Matriculation High School, Kuzhithurai, Kanyakumari, through the Inspector (Matriculation School), Tirunelveli or the Child Welfare Committee, Tiruneleveli. The Inspector of Schools, N C Hills, should ensure admission of these two children to the nearby school in appropriate class and arrange books, note books and other learning materials for these children.
N. C. Hills Autonomous Council should also make arrangements for the board and lodging in Haflong for other twenty two (22) children (who have been rescued from Tamil Nadu in February and 2010) as well as 8 girls (rescued from the New Life Centre for Girls, Bangalore in May 2010) in any vacant Government Quarter or in a rented accommodation. The Inspector of Schools should also ensure their admission in the nearby schools in age appropriate classes. He should also arrange for books, note books and other learning materials for these children.
All the 32 children should be provided school uniforms, other clothes, shoes, mosquito nets, bedding etc. by the Department of Social Welfare of the N.C. Hills Autonomous Council. A counsellor, a doctor, especially a physician and an eye-specialist should visit the Orphan Home as well as the proposed Home for thorough medical checkup of these children on a weekly basis. If N C Hills Autonomous Council is not having the required funds for supporting the care and education of these children on a long term basis, Assam Government should made necessary funds available for such purpose. There should be a roster among the CWC Members to visit the Orphan Home as well as the proposed home on weekly basis in order to understand the problems and requirements of the children and refer the same to the concerned Departments/Authorities of the N C Hills District Autonomous Council Govt. of Assam for remedial measures.
A proposal submitted by the Education Department of the NC Hills District Autonomous Council on 20/02/2010 to the Department of School/Secondary Education, Government of Assam for the construction of girls hostels in Diyungbra, New Sanghar and Diyung valley Development Blocks and converting 3 higher secondary/high schools into model schools under the Rashtriya Madhyamic Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) should be got cleared from the Central Government (MHRD) in order to enhance the educational infrastructure in the district for the educational rehabilitation of not only the rescued children but also other children from vulnerable families. The State Government should also get more hostels (for boys and girls separately) sanctioned from the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER) and set them up early at Haflong and Maibong.
The Superintendent of Police of N.C. Hills District should ensure that the Advisory issued by him on 17/04/2010 with regard to intimation of any movement of children by parents/community leaders/suspicious persons to the Police Administration, to outside States for education without his prior permission/intimation, needs to be enforced and monitored strictly on the ground.
The District Administration should ensure that no child below 12 years or those at primary school level are sent outside for pursuing education outside the State without prior permission/intimation to it.
The Secretary of the N.C. Hills District Autonomous Council should have a review meeting on monthly basis to be attended by the Deputy Director (Education), Deputy Director (Social Welfare), SP, ADM, SDMs, CWC Chairperson, among others to strategize preventive measures and to assess their effectiveness as well as the rehabilitation situation of the rescued children A copy of the minutes of such meetings should be marked to the Govt. of Assam, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and NCPCR.
It should be ensured by the Deputy Commissioner, N.C. Hills District that more interfaces takes place between the District Administration/Revenue Administration/Development Administration & Educational Administration with the Public through the Apex Tribal Councils, Village Authorities/Council and Students Unions on children issues.
The Deputy Commissioner of N.C. Hills should ensure that the School Hostel, Library and Children Home complex, presently occupied by the armed forces are vacated within a month’s time and it should be ensured that the school buildings and hostels are not occupied by the armed forces in future.
The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of the JJ Act, 2000, should be activated in the all the Districts within 3 months time by the Social Welfare Deptt. under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The Social Welfare Department will maintain proper liaisoning and coordination with Tamil Nadu Government and Karnataka Government (through their Department of Social Welfare on the issue of verification, pre rescue planning, actual rescue and safe repatriation of the children who have been taken out of the State for educational or other purposes.)
Govt. of Tamil Nadu to do the following:
To close down all the unregistered homes/orphanages/child care institutions run in the State and to transfer the children living therein to the nearest registered/recognized homes run by NGOs or by the Government. The concerned Child Welfare Committee and/or Board of Control/Social Welfare Department will oversee the transition of the children. The list of the children belonging to other States will be sent across to the Social Welfare /WCD Deptt. of the ‘source’ States with their names, sex, age, native address, parental status, the date of admission, mode of admission, the school attended, the class in which they study, health condition, etc. under intimation to NCPCR within 3 months time for facilitating the process of repatriation of those children who want to go back to their homes;
To ensure that the Board of Control, which is mandatorily to be constituted under the OCH Act, 1960 and Tamil Nadu OCH Rules 1992, is in place immediately for the inspection and constant supervision of the orphanages registered under the said Act in the State;
To ensure that the District Inspection Committees, which are mandatorily to be constituted under Section 35 of the J.J. Act 2000, are in place and are actually inspecting/ monitoring the children homes/child care institutions (registered or unregistered) regularly and sending reports regarding the same to the District Collector and Child Welfare Committee concerned as well as to the Commissioner (Social Defence) for review.
To activate the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of the JJ Act, 2000, in all the Districts by the Social Welfare Deptt. (Social Defence Commissionerate) under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) within 3 months time.
To set up a Special Cell in the Education Deptt. for compiling lists of children from North-Eastern States who are staying in hostels and studying in schools and to periodically review their well being as well as to facilitate the repatriation of those who want to go back to their homes.
The concerned Department(s) through the Planning Deptt. of the State Government to maintain constant liaisoning/coordination with the source States, such as Manipur, with respect to verification, pre-planning, and repatriation of children to these States.
To bring criminal investigation/prosecution in the matters of children rescued from Chennai in January 2010, from Kanyakumari on 22.01.2010 and in Nagapatinam on 26.03.2010 to their logical conclusion within 3 months.
Govt. of Meghalaya to do the following:
To ensure transparency and accountability in the process of transfer/migration of children from the State to other States.
To start a process of registration of the agents who are mobilizing children to join schools in Karnataka and to monitor their movements and activities.
To ensure that no child below 12 years or those at primary school level are sent outside for pursuing education in other States.
To maintain a database of all children who have migrated from Meghalaya to study in Karnataka and other States for monitoring.
The Police Department to prepare a report of all the institutions where children from Meghalaya are studying and submit the same to NCPCR within a month’s time.
To activate the District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of the JJ Act, 2000 in all the Districts by the Social Welfare Deptt. under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) within 2 months time.
To form a Coordination Committee under the Chairpersonship of the Chief Secretary with all the Secretaries of concerned Departments as members to examine and address the issue of children being sent to Karnataka for pursuing education. The Coordination Committee should evolve a Plan of Action to monitor the children who have been sent or being sent to study in other States as well as those who are returning / repatriated. A copy of such Plan of Action should be sent to NCPCR. Transparency and accountability should be integral part of this Plan of Action.
(ix)The State Government should evolve procedures for the parents seeking to contact their children and being informed periodically about their children’s welfare in Karnataka. Procedure should also be established for receiving complaints / grievances from aggrieved parents / guardians and for redressing the same in time bound manner. Such procedures must be widely known to the public.
The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) shall be constituted in the State under the Commissions for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 within 2 months time.
A detailed household survey of children who are not in their villages and have been sent to Karnataka or any other place either for study, for work or for any other purpose will be conducted by the Social Welfare Department in coordination with Meghalaya Police and a Report on the same will be sent to NCPCR and Government of Karnataka within three months time, containing the particulars of the children and the information about the schools or mutts in Karnataka with their addresses where children have been sent for study.
The Meghalaya Government (the Line Departments through the Department of Planning) should submit a comprehensive proposal to the Ministry of DONER for assistance/support for children’s education, hostels and other infrastructure/ requirements for consideration.
Govt. of Karnataka to do the following:
The Department of Women and Child Development (WCD) will close down all the unregistered homes/orphanages child care institutions run in the State and transfer the children living therein to the nearest registered/recognized homes run by the NGOs or by the Government. The concerned Child Welfare Committee and/or Board of Control/Social Welfare Department will oversee the transition of the children. The list of the children belonging to other States will be sent across to the Social Welfare/WCD Deptt. of those States with their names, sex, age, native address, parental status, the date of admission, mode of admission, the school attended, the class in which they study, health condition, etc. under intimation to NCPCR within three months time for facilitating the process of repatriation of those children who want to go back to their homes.
The Department of WCD will ensure that the District Inspection Committees constituted under Section 35 of the J.J. Act and the Child Welfare Committees regularly inspect/monitor all children homes/orphanages/child care institutions (registered or unregistered) within their jurisdictions and their reports are duly examined by the Department of WCD for remedial measures.
The Child Welfare Committee (CWC) in each District will review the status of children in the residential educational institutions/hostels/orphanages/children homes and other institutions for child care and their well-being on a regular basis. The process is to be facilitated by the Department of WCD.
The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of the JJ Act, 2000 should be activated in all the Districts within two months by the WCD Deptt. under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The Education Department should present a Report on the status of children from Meghalaya and other States who are living in residential educational institutions/hostels as well as those who are
studying under the Asha Kiran Programme of SSA. It will also evolve a transparent procedure and mechanism for the easy access/ interfacing of parents/relatives/ guardians with the children from outside States living in various institutions in the State. It should issue a Circular to this effect within a month’s time to all the residential educational institutions/hostels/mutts, etc. and mark a copy to all the District Collectors, District Education Officers of the State as well as to the Government of Meghalaya, NCPCR, KSCPCR and KSHRC.
A Special Cell should be set up in the Education Deptt. for compiling the lists of children from North-Eastern States who are staying in hostels and studying in schools and to periodically review their well being as well as to facilitate the repatriation of those who want to go back to their homes.
The District Child Protection Unit (DCPU), as envisaged under Section 62 A of the JJ Act, 2000 should be activated in all the Districts within two months time by the WCD Deptt. under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS).
The Health Department should carry out a detailed health check up of the children living in the residential educational institutions, hostels, mutts and other Institutions for child care and provide proper treatment as well as a Health Card to each and submit an interim report to NCPCR within three months regarding the same.
The Karnataka Police is to present a status report on the magnitude of the problem and modus operandi of children being brought to the State within three months time to NCPCR.
Ministry of HRD, GOI to do the following:
To submit a consolidated list of schools and hostels (district-wise), collected from the State Governments/ UT Administrations, which are currently occupied by the armed forces in the North Easter States, indicating the date from which or duration for which they have been occupied.
To hold special review meetings with the North-Eastern States to assess the support they would require for improving the educational infrastructure in the source districts of child transportation/child migration on long term basis, including more qualified teachers, class rooms, hostels, etc.
To open more Kendriya Vidyalayas, KGBVs, Navodaya Vidyalayas and Model Schools in the source areas and to relax the norms/criteria for setting up as well as for admission of rescued children into such schools.
Ministry of DONER to do the following:
To hold special meetings with the North Eastern States, especially Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland to assess their requirement in terms of
educational infrastructure, such as construction of school buildings, hostels and children homes for support by the Ministry.
To give priority in sanctioning/clearing the proposals received from the North-Eastern States relating to construction of school buildings, hostels and children homes for support by the Ministry.
Ministry of Panchayti Raj to do the following:
To hold special meetings with the North Eastern States, especially Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland to assess their requirements in terms of educational infrastructure, such as construction of school buildings, hostels and children homes, which could be supported under BRGF.
To give priority to sanctioning the proposals received from the North-Eastern States relating to construction of school buildings, hostels and children homes under BRGF.
Ministry of Home Affairs to do the following:
To ensure that the para-military forces vacate the schools and hostels occupied by them and submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) to the Hon’ble Supreme Court and NCPCR within two months.
To sanction the Pilot Projects for all the Districts of Manipur and N.C. Hills District of Assam (if not yet covered) for setting up of Anti-Human Trafficking Units at the earliest.
To strengthen the Police Administration in the N.C. Hills District of Assam as well as in Tamenglong, Chandel, Bishnupur, Senapati, Churachandpur and Imphal West Districts of Manipur under its Police Modernization Programme to monitor and contain suspicious movements of persons with ulterior motives.
To seek quarterly reports from both ‘source’ States and ‘destination’ States of child trafficking regarding implementation of its Advisory issued on ‘Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking in India’ and examine the same.
Confidentiality of Children’s Identity
The identity and particulars of the children mentioned in the lists1 enclosed to this report should be kept confidential with due regard to their right to privacy and dignity, in compliance with the Article 21 of the Constitution of India (COI) and Section 21 of the JJ Act, 2000.
NCPCR will continue to be engaged with the ‘source’ as well as ‘destination’ States for addressing the protection issues concerning children taken from one State to another. It will hold review meetings and appraise the situation / progress in the matter to the Honorable Apex Court from time to time.”