New Delhi: The government has so far shut down 539 child care institutes (CCIs) across the country since August when shelter home rape cases surfaced, according to Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD).
"We had to shut those institutes which were not fitting the standard of living for the children or violated the norms or those which were unregistered. The children who were living in those CCIs have been safely shifted to other child institutes," said a top WCD official.
In Maharashtra, 377 CCIs were closed, the highest among all states and union territories, followed by Andhra Pradesh - 78, and Telangana - 32.
Notably, reports of alleged rape of girl inmates in a shelter home in Bihar's Muzaffarpur in May and another in Deoria, Uttar Pradesh, in August had surfaced.
The WCD Ministry had then asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to conduct a social audit of the CCIs and also directed the unregistered institutes to register within two months.
Union WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi had earlier asked for setting up of Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) at the state and district levels for regular monitoring of the Specialised Adoption Agencies (SAA) and CCIs.
The Minister had also said that the district magistrates and district collectors should take the responsibility of monitoring the adoption programmes which are implemented at the district level.