"A time has come when we have to make compassion go viral in the months ahead, so that together we wither the storm and emerge stronger. The children need our compassion, attention and support."
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday issued a host of directions to protect children lodged in Protection Homes from the deadly Corona virus.
A bench comprising Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Soumen Sen had taken up the case suo moto via video conferencing, in furtherance of the detailed directions passed by the Supreme Court on this subject.
While directing the state to strictly implement the directives of the top court, the bench also asked the District Judges to file a compliance report by April 21.
Inter alia, the bench issued the following supplementary directions to be observed by the Protection Homes:
The bench also took on record a report filed by the Juvenile Justice Committee of the High Court regarding steps already taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in child care institutions. On a perusal of the same, it highlighted the following measures, requiring "immediate attention" of the state government of West Bengal:
The court also expressed concern over the plight of migrants and their children, who may be in the need of care and protection. It thus directed the state government to identify and take care of such children of the migrant labourers who have arrived in the State since the outbreak of the pandemic
"The rights of such children shall be protected. In the report to be filed by the Government, the children of such migrant labourers and families as may be identified as CNCP, shall be disclosed. The report must also indicate the steps taken to protect the child rights of such migrant children," the bench directed.
Accordingly, compliance reports have been sought from the State government's Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, and Department of Health by April 21.
Case Title: In re: Contagion of Covid 19 virus in Children Protection Homes
Case No.: WP No. 5327/2020
Quorum: Justice Harish Tandon and Justice Soumen Sen
Appearance: Advocate General Kishore Dutta
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