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Manipur kids in Chennai; Tamil Nadu writes to Ibobi to take back rescued children
Published on 23 Aug. 2008 12:22 AM IST
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This is a case of “missing children” that Manipur wasn’t aware of till a letter arrived from the Tamil Nadu government on Saturday saying 22 kids from the state were languishing in an orphanage near Chennai. According to Telegraph India, the 22 children — 20 boys and two girls — were taken to Tamil Nadu by an unrecognised NGO by the name of Life Trust. The children were rescued after Childline Chennai informed the child welfare committee. The Tamil Nadu government has requested the Okram Ibobi Singh government to take back the children, stating that it was issuing necessary orders for transfer of the children to Manipur. The letter was written by Tamil Nadu social defence commissioner Jayashree Raghunandan to Manipur social welfare director A. Nabachandra. Raghunandan also wrote another letter to Mala Laishram, Centre co-ordinator, Childline, Imphal informing her about the rescue of the children. Mala said the NGO was being run by a Manipuri tribal identified as Justine Zou. She said the man took the children with permission from their parents on the promise of providing them with free education. But he did not take permission from the social welfare department for transferring the children to Tamil Nadu, as required under the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000. The Manipur government is looking for Zou. “The inquiry so far clearly reveals that the said NGO is not a recognised one to run an orphanage and the children lacked a proper place to stay, sanitation, care, food, education and health facilities,” the letter said. The children are now sheltered at a Tamil Nadu government social welfare orphanage in Kancheepuram, which has been authorised by the child welfare committee to act as a temporary shelter. Raghunandan also requested Imphal Childline to take up the matter with the Manipur social welfare department to ensure that the children were safely inducted into the educational system in a suitable place. The social welfare director was not available for comment. But officials in the department said efforts were on to bring back the children to Manipur. “We will launch an inquiry how the children reached Tamil Nadu from Imphal,” an official said.

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