Madhesh’s only juvenile reform centre overcrowdedLimited rooms and resources have created problems in managing the facility, says the centre chief.
The only juvenile reform centre in Madhesh has become overcrowded and is currently holding twice its capacity.
There are currently 128 children and teenagers kept in the centre in Birgunj, Parsa with a capacity of holding 60 juvenile delinquents.
The centre, which is spread across an area of approximately 507.94 sq m (1.5 kattha), has 11 rooms. According to Tika Krishna Kafle, chief of the centre, ten of the rooms are small and each room is shared by 10 children while the only big room is shared by 20 children.
Limited rooms and resources have created problems in managing the centre, says Kafle.
“We are having various problems in the management of the children. In colder months, we somehow manage but we have to deal with the spread of communicable diseases among the children living in close quarters,” said Kafle. “Even now, children are falling sick every day with cold and fever.” According to him, there is only one nurse deployed to the centre. “The nurse can’t attend to all the sick children. So we have to take them to the hospital. But the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has not even arranged for transportation for us to take patients to the hospital.”
The reform centre in Birgunj receives juvenile delinquents from all across the province. Out of the 128 children and teenagers, nine are Indian nationals, said Kafle.
According to Kafle, out of a total 128, only one and a half dozen cases have received verdicts from the court so far. Although there is a provision in the Children’s Act 2075 that children’s cases should be decided within 120 days, it takes years for the courts to issue verdict which leads to overcrowding at the centre, according to Kafle.
“Juvenile Reform Centres in Kathmandu and Pokhara are well-equipped,” Kafle said. “They have schools and even a hospital on the premises but here in Parsa, there are none.”