Children’s home in Jalandhar gets new superintendent, finally

Decision comes days after grave lapses were found in ashram’s functioning

Children’s home in Jalandhar gets new superintendent, finally

Harinder Kaur, CDPO, Nurmahal (Jalandhar), has been given the charge of Superintendent, Children’s Home (home for runaway girls), Jalandhar, and Children’s Home for Girls (which houses, destitute or orphaned girls).

Aparna Banerji

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, August 1

Harinder Kaur, CDPO, Nurmahal (Jalandhar), has been given the charge of Superintendent, Children’s Home (home for runaway girls), Jalandhar, and Children’s Home for Girls (which houses, destitute or orphaned girls).

The orders to this effect were issued by the Principal Secretary, Social Security and Women and Child Development Department, on Friday. She is being deputed in place of the former Superintendent, who has now been deputed at the state protective and window’s home.

Notably, the orders came two weeks after The Tribune highlighted the state of the ashram in a news report “All is Not Well at Jalandhar’s Gandhi Vanita Ashram” in these columns. The order, issued on July 30, stated that, “Keeping administrational/people’s welfare in mind, Manjit Kaur, Superintendent, Children’s Home, Jalandhar, is being deputed at the State Protective Home, Jalandhar, and is being given the additional charge of Home for Widows and Destitute, Jalandhar, along with DDO Powers.”

Earlier this year, an inquiry ordered by Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori into the incident of the escape of 37 girls from the Children’s Home at the Gandhi Vanita Ashram (GVA) on March 8 had also found glaring irregularities at the same home.

The DC’s report found grave lapses in the ashram’s functioning and also referred to “immense psychological stress” among inmates and also took note of the ‘the wrong recording of their age in documents’. Charges against a house mother of getting an ‘unauthorised exertion’ from inmates were also made.

In the report carried on July 18, The Tribune had highlighted that the ashram had been in the news for frequent incidents of escapes of girl inmates regarding which disciplinary action had been taken against some staff members. However, questions were raised on the same set of staff being re-deputed at the home due to the lack of better substitutes. The Tribune had also highlighted that despite many CDPOs available, same staff was being chosen for deputation.

While repeated incidents were bringing a bad name to the goings-on at the home, after the March 8 incident this year, officials had said many constructive changes were being made at the home now, including better infrastructure and counselling for girls at the home.

Sources said, “Resentment had been brewing among the staff too as constructive changes were awaited at the premises. But the recent few months indicate a churning at the highest level. A number of measures, including this recent decision, indicate the department is committed to finally bettering things at the home.”

Why was the same staff re-deputed at ashram?

In the report carried on July 18, The Tribune had highlighted that the ashram had been in the news for frequent incidents of escapes of girl inmates regarding which disciplinary action had been taken against some staff members. However, questions were raised on the same set of staff being re-deputed at the home due to the lack of better substitutes. The Tribune had also highlighted that despite many CDPOs available, same staff was being chosen for deputation.

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