High Court Judge and Chairman Juvenile Justice Committee, Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey Thursday visited Observation Home, Harwan to take stock of the facilities available to the inmates.
A statement issued here said that Justice Magrey on the occasion held interaction with the children to enquire about their well-being and the facilities available to them.
Referring to the directions and recommendations of Juvenile Justice Committee, Supreme Court of India, Justice Magrey emphasised upon creating of helplines for Child Care Institutions as well as for general public to aid the children who have been orphaned due to the COVID-19 pandemic, monitoring of Institutions to access their needs for medicines, healthcare, ensuring vaccination of the entire staff of Child Care Institutions, mapping of COVID-19 affected child, if any, and immediate measures to be taken by the government and health authorities for his and her care and rehabilitation.
He recommended mapping employees and staff working in Child Care Institutions who might be affected and the impact on the staff strength of Child Care Institutions and remedial action.
Interacting with the officers with regard to children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, Justice Magrey directed the Mission Directorate, ICPS to share the data of all CCIs, who are registered as well as unregistered with the Deputy Commissioners to enable the District Magistrates to monitor these institutions to ensure proper coordination.
Justice Magrey highlighted various issues in the meeting regarding the welfare of children and the need to protect them from the ill-effects of the present pandemic and further directed proper screening and testing and medical care for the children in the institutional care, provision of emergency medicine, supplies, emergency access to hospitals.
He discussed nomination of government and district-level Nodal Officers empowered to take decisions and constitute a task force for rapid emergency response for children during COVID-19, for orphaned children, setting up of committee in each district comprising the Nodal Officer (including the DM or SDM) a representative of the concerned CWC and the District Legal Service Authority representative, and secure all information and data relating to the deceased parent or parents of any child, measures to stop spread in childcare institutions and the medical treatment and care of the children.
It was also highlighted in the meeting that children who had been deinstitutionalized in this COVID-19 pandemic were required to be considered for sponsorship under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) to meet the medical nutritional, educational and other needs of these children with a view to improve their quality of life, as all these children belong to poor and downtrodden families.
Justice Magrey stressed upon the objects of the Juvenile Justice Act which is fundamentally enacted for the benefit of children in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, and focused on the rehabilitation of such children who are the future asset of our society.
During the visit, Justice Magrey interacted with Superintendent Sameena Mir, Accountant Sumaira Mushtaq, Tabassum Altaf Wani, Probationary Officer and other officials and reiterated that such institutions like observation home were rehabilitation centres set-up for the care, protection, restoration, and welfare of children, and should have the facilities like education, health care, free legal aid, psycho social counseling and medical facility.
Justice Magrey also directed the district administration Srinagar and Superintendent Home to put all COVID-19 protocols in place in all CCIs to prevent the spread of the virus with special focus on the protection of children from COVID-19 pandemic.
He said vaccination of staff of the child care institutions and periodical testing of inmates is mandatory and has to be given special preference.