National Human Rights Commission

National Human Rights Commission: In furtherance of a complaint registered with the National Human Rights Commission (‘NHRC') related to dilapidated condition of District Child Protection Office, Royapuram, NHRC called several authorities concerned to act within four weeks. The Commission also transferred the said complaint to the State Human Rights Commission Tamil Nadu (‘SHRC'). The Authorities called for action in this matter include the District Magistrate, the Secretary for Tamil Nadu SHRC and the Chief Secretary under Government of Tamil Nadu.

The matter was initiated by Advocate Y. Balachander Reddy who complained to the Commission regarding the condition of DCPO office building on 16-1-2023. The said complaint was based on a news report of New Indian Express, captioned as “Child Protection Office in Chennai, a picture of neglect and despair.

The aforementioned news report surrounds the dilapidated condition of office of District Child Protection in Royapuram, Chennai. As per report, it is almost a century old office building having old wiring, damaged walls and worn-out roof. Even the old wirings soaked in water during rains pass current in the walls due to which, the members often suffer electric shocks. As per report, the building is also used as polling booth during elections for a few corporation wards. The members also regard the building as ‘a tragedy in waiting'.

The news report also points out the State Social Defense Department's old promises of a new building. According to department officials, the allocation of funds has been cleared and the proposal awaits a final nod.

In 1955, this British era building was allotted as a home for destitute children. The District Child Protection Office (‘DCPO'), Child Welfare Committee (‘CWC') and Government Home for the Boys are accommodated in the said building. Recently, cyclone Mandus, heavy winds and rains damaged the asbestos and a layer of artificial ceiling of the office building as per report.

Considering all this, the complainant sought NHRC's interference in this matter. As mentioned above, NHRC has transferred the said complaint to SHRC Tamil Nadu and seeks report of action taken.

[Y. Balachander Reddy, In re, Case /File no. 24/22/13/2023, order dated 16-01-2023]

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