Researchers concerned over dismal condition of Mizoram's orphanages

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Aizawl, Apr 26 (UNI) An assessment conducted by the Mizoram Social Welfare Department and Human Rights and Law Network has expressed concern over the dismal condition of orphanages in the state and their failure to provide basic amenities to children.

Official sources said here today the assessment team of researchers conducted the study on 426 orphans in 27 government-recognised homes, about 30 per cent of which belonged to the Thutak Nunpuitute Team (TNT) camp, the largest orphanage in the state.

The officials said the TNT camp at Zuangtui here did not send any representative to the two-day workshop on orphans and orphanages organised by the state government which concluded yesterday.

The researchers further alleged that they were held up at the home because the management was ''extremely reluctant'' to allow them to conduct the study.

''The team spent six days at the home, which was the maximum number of days spent in any home,'' a team member said.

The researchers also alleged that the TNT camp committed many discrepancies in the naming of children, their lineages and maintenance of links with families.

Almost all the children did not know anything about their parents and why they had been admitted to the home.

''It seems that there is no effort whatsoever on the part of the home to maintain the children's links with their biological families or relatives,'' a team member said.

The ages of 17 children in the home could not be established through interview or from the home's register.

Although the home excelled in providing co-curricular activities to the children, it failed to provide such basic amenities as regular health services, professional counselling, trained staff and social workers, the researchers alleged.

''Above all, the home's unwillingness to co-operate with the government could be very harmful to the many children under its care,'' the team member said.

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