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The term orphanage is often not used and understood clearly.
There are 2 types of homes for children:
1) For children aged 0-6 years - all such children are put up for adoption - and these are Adoption Centres
The process for children in Adoption Centres comes under the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act, and the Guardian and Ward Act.
2) for children aged 7-18 years - such children are educated and taught skills upto the age of 18, after which they leave - these are Children's Homes.
The process for children in Children's Home comes under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000.
The government authorities first put all children in a Government Home. If a Children's Home wants children, they have to apply to the Child Welfare Committee of their respective Area / District. The process is considerably long with extensive paperwork, (and sometimes payment has also to be made). Usually, disabled children are not taken by Children's homes, as few homes are trained or equipped to take them.
Children from Adoption Centres who remain un-adopted by age 6 do not automatically get shifted to Children's Home; they are first shifted to Government Homes and  have to go through the CWC process; again usually disabled children are left behind.
Street children also cannot simply be placed in a Children's Home; they require to be registered and scrutinised by the CWC before being approved for transfer to a Children's Home; this process could take up to a month or more - and in this time. the child has to stay in a Government Home.
The condition of the Government Homes is extremely bad, with poor facilities, low levels of hygiene and cleanliness and almost no staff -- as we sporadically read in the newspapers.

An example is the Dongri Children's Home, which currently has 700 children (way beyond it's capacity); 80 of these children are girls, and they are all kept locked in a single room.

The land for a Children's Home is often allotted by Government. Once allotted, and functioning, the Children's Homes are continually under pressure to accommodate children recommended by politicians; these are children of their maidservants or drivers who do not have a home to stay in Mumbai and hence need a place to stay.

So it appears that the current laws and rules and regulations in place, originally framed to protect and benefit the children, are actually now causing great harm to children.

This is information that I have. Would like to know from others too. Thanks for starting this important dialogue.


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