When will Child Welfare Committee act upon a family rights case?

Child Welfare Committee Lucknow sits over hearing regarding restoring the family rights of minor infant girl and her brother both children of burn victim Khusboo with their family in Gorakhpur
The case of a woman from Badialganj thana District Gorakhpur who is a victim of burn injuries inflicted on her by her own husband when he made an attempt on her life, came up for hearing before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Lucknow.

The case of four month old a minor girl child and her elder brother both children of this woman was presented before the CWC by Saaksham Foundation who argued that the children's basic right to survival as per Article 21 in the constitution of India and Article 6 (1) as per the Convention Of Child Rights which provides that State Parties shall recognize that every child has the inherent right to life had not only been violated but they have been deserted by her rightful father and family who are currently living in Kalyanpur, thana Badailganj Gorakhpur.

It was put forth that both the children are facing separation from their family as and their  mother who is undergoing treatment at the Balrampur district hospital in Lucknow. All attempts to reunite the children with their extended family of grandparents who reside in Kalyanpur area under the Badailganj Thana Gorakhpur have failed. The maternal grandparents have already disowned them and with no police action being initiated as well the welfare of the children was at stake.

In addition to the pitiful predicament the minor girl child is facing being forced to live in state care in protection home at Prag Narain Road, her four year old brother on the other hand is living without the care of his mother at his paternal home.

Since there is no contact with the father or his family nothing is known about the welfare of this child.

Going by the actions of his father who has allegedly made an attempt on his son’s mother’s life and has also deserted his daughter and outright refuses without remorse to accept any responsibility of his wife and children the welfare of the elder male child is also a matter of serious concern.

Thus Saaksham Foundation strongly sought that the following actions by the CWC should be initiated urgently to ensure safety of both the baby girl and her brother so that they can grow and develop in a safe environment:
1. As per Article 19 (1) of the CRC State parties shall take all appropriate legislative, administrative, social and educational measures to protect the child from all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment……. While in care of parents, legal guardians, or any person who has the care of the child.

As per the above stipulation: The girl child and her brother need protection from their own father. Thus he needs to be contacted to be made accountable for his actions by appropriate authorities including the police. Since no FIRs are being lodged by the Gorakhpur police or state enforcement agencies, it was requested intervention of the CWC in the matter as per the magisterial powers vested to the committee and order the police at Gorakhpur and Lucknow, to take appropriate actions to locate Manoj and bring him to Lucknow to make him take responsibility for his children.

2. As per Article 20(1) of the CRC A child temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment, or in whose own interest cannot be allowed to remain in that environment, shall be entitled to special protection and assistance provided by the state. As per Article 20(2) CRC state parties shall in accordance with their national laws ensure alternative care for such a child.

As per the above stipulation: The welfare of the minor boy child and brother of  the four month old baby girl and her brother needs to be looked into immediately at his residential paternal home in Kalyanpur, Badailganj Thana Gorakhpur.  Thus it was requested that intervention of the CWC to either remove the child from the environment if found unsafe for the child or ensure that regular follow ups for the child with either police intervention or local Child line volunteers support in Gorakhpur be carried out till a appropriate way to reunite the children with their mother and family is worked out.

The case was a matter of concern of the sensitive nature of the issue and the welfare of two minor children being at stake. Despite requests to IG Zone Gorakhpur to begin proceedings to ensure that police and legal action is taken in case of the attempt of life made on the woman who is the children’s mother no FIR has so far been lodged in the matter up till now.

Thus the intervention of the Child Welfare Committee to uphold the rights of survival of the minor  infant and her elder bother at Gorakhpur was sought in efforts to ensure the both the children get justice and can be reunited with their family.

The Child Welfare Committee took the complaint into account and has forwarded the complaint to CWC Gorakhpur instructing them to send in a full report of the whereabouts of the paternal family of the infant girl and also immediately conduct a check on the welfare of the elder brother of the child left behind in Gorakhpur.

Anjali Singh
(The author is a senior journalist and leads Saaksham Foundation)

Published in :
Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand 
Elites TV News, USA                                                                                      

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