Panel terms reports of children eating soil owing to hunger baseless
The city Corporation has come to the aid of a woman and her children who were allegedly facing neglect and physical abuse from her husband.
The woman had handed over four of her six children to the Kerala State Council for Child Welfare, Thycaud, here on Monday.
Mayor K. Sreekumar on Tuesday visited the woman at Mahila Mandiram, Poojappura, where she and her two youngest children had been shifted to and offered her a temporary job in the Corporation. The job would pay her ₹630 a day. She has to appear in front of the Corporation Health Officer within 15 days to start work.
The Corporation has also promised a flat to the family after checking for vacant ones among those completed by the civic body at either Kalladimugham or Karimadhom.
Mr. Sreekumar also extended all support for the children’s education.
Meanwhile, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) under the Juvenile Justice Board in front of which the woman and her six children were presented late Tuesday decided to move all seven temporarily to a shelter home for victims of domestic violence at Kattakada in their ‘best interests’.
Women and Child Development Department District Officer Sabeena Begum said construction work was under way at the Mahila Mandiram and keeping children away was best for them. Moreover, there were not enough beds there for the family at the Mahila Mandiram.
Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson P. Suresh has termed baseless reports of the children eating soil owing to hunger.
Mr. Suresh said child welfare council representatives saw the last but one child playing in the soil and mistook her to be eating it.
The woman told the commission that her husband would buy food for the family from what he earned.
Food from anganwadi
Officials said the the woman was a lactating mother and was getting food from the anganwadi. Moreover, the two younger children were going to the anganwadi, and one of them was getting Nutrimix there.
Childline representatives said they had visited the shanty on Saturday after receiving a complaint from one of the children’s schools and had found that the children and the woman were being physically abused by the husband who was an alcoholic.
However, he had been buying food for them, and the children were not starving.
Dineeth V. Nair, Vanchiyoor area secretary of the DYFI, said the DYFI unit had been supporting the family with food and materials for the children’s education for some time, but after a point they decided to involve the child welfare council.
He said the woman had told party representatives that one of the children was in the habit of playing in the soil, and would not listen to the mother’s reprimands.
Meanwhile, the woman was given a ration card in the presence of child welfare commission membres on Tuesday.