Nagpur: Amid the rising uncertainty over the operation of Bal Sadan, a home for orphans and destitute children situated at Katol Road Square in Nagpur, Divisional Commissioner Anoop Kumar met Bal Sadan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti on Wednesday, and decided to renew its licence and provide funds for the same. Trashing aside the media reports regarding dissolution of Bal Sadan committee and decision to take back the land allotted for the facility, Kumar said such a decision was never taken. He said as per the institute’s registration, it was evident that the facility will be used only as an orphanage or for other social and religious purposes.
It was earlier reported by a section of media that 13 destitute children at Bal Sadan faced a bleak future as their foster home was on the brink of closure, owing to a wrangle between society and the government. For over two years, society and administration squabbled when in 2013, the then divisional commissioner BV Gopala Reddy directed to close down the home after observing that the licence of Bal Sadan had not been renewed since 2009. The committee members had alleged the documents required for renewal were in possession of the commissionerate.
On Wednesday, the committee members met Kumar to discuss the matter. “During the meeting, a district women and child development officer questioned the need of having the Sadan, especially as there were several orphanages in the city. However, we did not agree with him and pointed out the government must publicize Bal Sadan to get more admissions,” said MNS leader Prashant Pawar.
After hearing both sides, Kumar finally agreed to release funds required for the renewal of licence. He told media people, “With the passing of Juvenile Justice Act, the by-laws need to be restructured under the supervision of child welfare committee (CWC). The administration had no intention of grabbing the land or using it for commercial purposes as alleged by many. We just want the functioning of Bal Sadan to be within legal ambit.”
The home is run by 55-year-old Vidarbha Relief Society since the 1990s. The society was formed in 1959 by social workers to help flood-affected and victims of diseases like plague. To ensure more effective functioning of the society in tandem with local administration, the bylaws included divisional commissioner as the chairman. The then state governor had donated 2.50 acre land for running a Bal Gram that would provide facilities of a healthy living and proper education for the kids.
Bal Sadan Bachao Committee members who were present in the meeting included Umesh Chaube, Haribhau Kedar, Deenanath Padole, Prashant Pawar and others.
Post the meeting Umesh Chaube told Nagpur Today that a wave of uncertainty has been prevailing over the existence of Bal Sadan for the past few days. “But now that the divisional commissioner has cleared the issue, it is confirmed that there is no threat to Bal Sadan, provided the activities are carried out within the purview of the law,” he added.