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22 Moreh children brought back from Chennai orphanage

IMPHAL, Sep 1: Twenty two children including two girls from Moreh who were being illegally kept at an unrecognised orphanage run by an NGO named Life Trust near Chennai in Kanchipuram district of Tamil Nadu were brought back to the state by volunteers of the Child Welfare Committee Chandel with assistance from the state social welfare department on August 30. The children were handed over to their respective families this afterrnoon after a brief press conference at the RICHM office at Pallel which was attended by officials of the state social welfare department and SDPO Moreh, Rameshore.Narrating how the children were taken to the orphanage in Tamil Nadu during July this year, a member of the Child Welfare Committee Chandel, Heching, mentioned that the department of social defence, Chennai officially intimated the director of social welfare, government of Manipur, on August 19 about the 22 children from Manipur being kept by an unauthorised and unrecognised orphanage under Life Trust NGO at Padappal, Kanchipuram district and their rescue by the department of social defence, Chennai.The intimation also mentioned that the department had made an enquiry into the matter and found that there was no proper accommodation, sanitation, food, education etc. at the orphanage centre as a result of which concerns like Childline (ICCW), district administration along with their department intervened asking the Child Welfare Committee to rescue the children in time.She further said as soon as the official intimation came from the department of social defence, Chennai, the Child Welfare Committee made efforts to bring back the children to the state with help from Childline (ICCW) and state social welfare department.She also mentioned that the department of social defence, Chennai made arrangements for transporting the children upto Guwahati on August 29 and a team comprising of CWC Chandel and some officials of the state social welfare department finally brought the children back to the state. The children were temporarily kept at the office of the RICHM at Pallel till today and finally handed over to the respective guardians this afternoon in front of media persons.According to the parents, the children were taken away by a local pastor Justine after the parents and guardians were assured that good education and future prospects would be provided to the children.Later, APO, social welfare department, Saroja highlighted the legal proceedings of keeping children at any orphanage and also the provisions of penalty for violating the Juvenile Juctice Act, during the press conference.The conference was also attended by Mala Laishram of Childline Manipur, SDPO Moreh, Rameshore and other representatives of CWC Chandel along with the parents of the children. (Courtesy: IFP)

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