59 children in a government-run orphanage in India’s Allahabad await a new home and a better life.
Ajeet Bahadur, our correspondent from Allahabad is also a child rights activist. Recently he visited Shishu Sadan which is the only government children home in Allahabad, located in one of the city’s most congested localities – Shiv Kuti. The home is run by the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare.
The home has 59 orphaned children – mostly under10 – who live in four tiny rooms. The two-storied building has no garden or play ground. In fact it doesn’t even have a courtyard. So, for all of these 59 children, each day begins and ends within the four walls of his/her room.
There are also no cupboards or trunks to keep the children’s clothes. Most of them sleep on a tattered rug on the floor. When Ajeet asks a child what he loves most, the child says ‘to play’. Unfortunately, there is no place where he or nay other child in this home can play. Also, there is no football/bat or toys for them to play with.
Most of the children in the home are too young to take care of themselves. There are some children who are HIV+, while some are mentally and physically challenged. But to look after all these children, the home has one employee. Needless to say, there is none to provide special care to the children here, even if they need it.
The government of Uttar Pradesh gives the home a monthly fund of Rs 1200 per child. But this barely takes care of their food and clothes. For other needs such as special healthcare for the sick or buying sports, buying furniture or sports equipment, there is no fund yet.
Ajeet Bahadur has been to the home 4 four times and every time he leaves, the children watch him from behind the iron-gate. He says, days after meeting the children, these innocent faces looking out desperately from behind the gate haunt him.
According to the warden of the orphanage, individual visitors sometimes bring the children a gift or two. But what they really need is a home. So, the best gift that one could give these orphans is to adopt them and give them the love of a family – something that would truly change their lives.
If you want to adopt a child from Shishu Sadan, do contact them at this address:
Government Children’s Home (Shishu Sadan)
Department of Women and Children Development
321/1, Shiv Kuti
Pin code: 211 004