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19 Apr 2017

Cash crunch plagues two shelters for girls

TT, Jalpaiguri, April 18: Officials of two government homes sheltering 65 destitute girls each in Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts are beleaguered with fund crisis.
The shelters at Senpara in Jalpaiguri and Falakata in Alipurduar district are run by the state mass education department.
"Recently, a government circular has been issued, saying arrangements have to be made for 10 more boarders at each of the two homes. We are already worried about lower allocation of funds and are planning to approach the department," Abdus Sattar, the president of the committee that monitors the home in Jalpaiguri, said today.
Sources said girls aged between six and 12 years were kept at both the homes. Once a boarder crosses 12, she is shifted to other shelters located across north Bengal, where elder girls and women are kept.
"For each inmate, Rs 900 is provided for food a month and another Rs 350 for other costs. With Rs 30 a day, we find it tough to provide proper food to the inmates," said a source.
The committees running the two homes have decided to approach people from different walks of life for assistance so that they can provide proper food to the inmates.
"Considering the current expenditure, we need at least Rs 2,000 per month for each inmate. There is a gap between the funds we receive and the expenditure we incur. There is no other way but to approach people to help the inmates in some way or the other," Sattar said.
At both the homes, additional funds are required to maintain the infrastructure. "The mattresses and pillows at the home in Jalpaiguri are in worst conditions. Even mosquito nets are not fit for use. On the other hand, in Falakata, doors and windows are tottering because of termite attack and the tinned roof has leakage at several spots," a source said.
Officials of the mass education extension department said they had proposed an increase in the allotment of funds.  "We are aware of the situation and have sent a proposal to our senior officials, saying the monthly allocation for each boarder should be increased to Rs 2,000. For renovation and repair of the home in Falakata, Rs 6.55 lakh has been approved," Maina Das, the district mass education extension officer of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar districts, said.

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