New Delhi: Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday appealed to state adoption bodies to ensure that all orphanages are registered under the Juvenile Justice Act by 1 December.
Gandhi was addressing a meeting held to review the implementation of adoption regulations. State Adoption Resource Agencies (SARA) from 29 states and union territories were present.
"You have (time) till 1 December for registration of all the unregistered bodies," Gandhi told the representatives of various SARAs.
She said according to a survey carried out by the ministry, 4,000 of the total 9,000 child-care institutions were not registered under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and were operating illegally.
There were nearly 21,000 girls and 19,000 boys at these unregistered homes, as per the findings cited by her.
With under 2,000 children enrolled with the nodal body for adoption in the country, Child Adoption Resource Agency (CARA), there are concerns about rampant trafficking. There are, however, at least 17,000 parents who have applied to CARA and are waiting in a queue for adoption.
Gandhi has been an advocate for adoption and has been working to ensure that abandoned and orphaned children in need of care and protection unite with families through legal means.
The Union minister also suggested that SARAs with "quickest and largest adoptions" could be given financial incentives and instructed each of these state bodies to register "1,000 children in a month".
"You do a sweep and get those children into your system...All these children should be off the street, in a home," Gandhi said.
A SARA is headed by the principal secretary of a state government and is responsible for promoting and regulating the adoption programme.
As per Section 41(1) of JJ Act, 2015, all institutions, whether run by the state government or by voluntary or non-governmental organisations, for housing children should be registered under the Act. The in-charge of the orphanage could face a one-year jail term or fine upto Rs 1 lakh for violating the law.
Updated Date: Oct 24, 2017 22:34 PM