Detailed policy needed to deal with street children: Bombay HC tells Maharashtra

The Bombay High Court observed that very little was done by the state in case of child beggars or street children. A bench of justice Abhay Oka was told that there were around 37,059 street children in the city as per the TISS census and there was just one committee to deal with all of it. The court asked the state to come up with a detailed policy to deal with it.

The bench was told that as per the Juvenile Justice Act, 2016, a child needs care and protection, and a street child qualifies to the same definition. The court was also shown a TISS report made by Professor Asha Mukundan -- a census of street children that showed there were over 37,000 street children in Mumbai and only a single committee to deal with them.

“Very little is done by the state for street children,” observed Justice Oka. “There needs to be more committees for street children to be taken care of, “The court also asked the state to take a look at the infrastructure of children homes as they also need to be updated to bring the children there and give them education.”

The state has been asked to file a reply by the Bombay High Court by April 7th in the matter. The court has taken the matter for hearing suo motu and has clubbed a petition of Right To Education (RTE) with it.

The petition stated a lot of children are forced by their parents to beg, or have to do so due to financial conditions, and are deprived of education, but the state has not been doing anything for them.

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