It was the year 1981 when the District Child Welfare Department of Panchkula was instituted. Since then it has helped 550 abandoned children find homes and families.
Bhagat Ram, District Child Welfare Officer (DCWO), said many of the abandoned children are either a girl or born to a minor mother. While abandonment due to financial reasons is scarce.
The officer informed that under the Palna Scheme of the State government, a cradle is placed outside the Sishu Greh in sector-15. Whenever someone puts a baby in the cradle, it sounds an alarm that rings directly in the office of the Supervisor and security guard of the premises. They are instructed to bring the child inside and provide medical assistance if needed.
This has been done so that people do not leave or abandon infants at secluded places, risking them to danger in the form of animals or extreme weather conditions.
“While we’ve not placed lights or CCTV on the cradle, but we surely follow the law, an FIR is registered for each newborn abandoned. Strict criminal law is required, otherwise, people will start abandoning their babies,” added DCWO.
He informed that from 1982 to date, the department extended their hands to 550 children under the age of 12 finding homes. Out of the 550 children adopted, 158 were taken into the family by foreigners. This includes 133 girls and 25 boys. Whereas, 392 children, 237 girls, and 155 boys were adopted within the country.
The department takes help from various NGOs working in this direction to help children find a good family. We have a thorough check on the background of those who approach us for adoption. Department officials keep on meeting the child and family till they attain adulthood.
Children who aren’t adopted by a family are taken care of by the district welfare department through different facility homes like Shishu Greh, Bal Sadan, Bal Bhawan, and Ashiana. The department bears the cost of their living, education, health, and other facilities.