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May 16, 2018

PHC summons official, nazim over poor state of welfare home for street children


May 16, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) has summoned chairman of Board of Directors, Zamung Kor, Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, a provincial government centre for street children, to explain whether the children are at risk due to the presence of private persons in the flats owned by them in the same compound.

A division bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Musarrat Hilali summoned Peshawar District Nazim Muhammad Asim as well in the case.

He was directed to appear before the court and explain as to why funds were not being issued for improving structure of the welfare home for street and child beggars, which is in a dilapidated condition.

The bench was hearing two writ petitions filed by lawyers including Muhammad Khurshid Khan and Saifullah Mohib against the provincial government to take steps for street children and child beggars in the province.

The lawyers submitted a report about the condition of child welfare institutions in the city. In the report, it was submitted that the welfare home, near Faqirabad was in dilapidated condition.

During hearing, Younas Afridi, an in-charge of the welfare home, submitted before the bench that he had sent several requests to the district nazim for issuance of funds for maintenance and repair of the home, but to no avail.

He said the child beggars were being shifted to Zamung Kor after fulfillment of legal procedure. The official said they were living in good and healthy environment and receiving education.

Asad Jan informed the bench that about 15 flats in the building were owned by private persons in Zamung Kor and the children living in the same compound would be at risk. He said these private persons should either be dislodged from here or separated from the same compound.

The first case was filed by Muhammad Khurshid Khan, against child labour. He claimed that the government had been spending a huge amount on the Child Protection Commission, but the child labour situation was worsening in the province.

The lawyer submitted that child labour was a sensitive issue and the provincial government was not giving any attention to it.

The second petition was filed by another lawyer Saifullah Mohib. He requested the court to issue directives to different government functionaries, including the chief secretary and inspector general of police, to initiate crackdown on the vagrants, drug addicts and children at risk, take them to the relevant court for action, and hand over the children at risk to the child protection institutes for welfare.

He requested the court to direct the Child Protection and Welfare Commission through its chief protection officer to create a complaint cell and a committee to rescue the child at risk and begin an awareness programme on media in this respect.

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