Karnataka govt bans birthday parties of outsiders at childcare homes | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: The state government’s ban on individuals, political leaders, celebrities, officers, staff of the government, aided and private childcare institutions celebrating their birthdays and that of their children at childcare institutions has evoked mixed response.
On October 16, the government issued an order stating that birthday celebrations of outsiders will have a negative impact on the mental health of those living in such institutions.
Vasudeva Sharma, executive director of Child Rights Trust, Bengaluru, said though the intentions of those celebrating such parties may be good, problem starts when they hold them inside the institutions and things can be agonising for the inmates when they are forced to clap and dance to entertain the birthday boy or girl.
According to Sharma, people celebrating their children’s birthday in childcare institutions do so with an intention to create awareness among their wards about other unfortunate kids. He said some institutions were witnessing 3-4 birthdays a day.
“Inmates of juvenile homes and childcare institutions are not captive audience or kids on display like animals in a zoo. When they don’t celebrate their own birthdays, why should they celebrate some other child’s or a person’s birthday. Children should not be forced to celebrate someone else’s birthday just for a piece of cake or chocolate,” Sharma added.
After the parties, pictures are usually uploaded on social media, revealing the children’s identity, which is a violation of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Sharma said when he was the chairperson of the child welfare committee, many children living in such institutions had told him that they felt very sad during such parties as they reminded them that there was nobody to celebrate their special day.
However, Mahantesh GK, founder of Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, said: “Small institutions will be financially hit by the decision. The government alone cannot do everything. It needs support from the people to run institutions and for the overall growth of the children.”
Some of the parties see good clothes being distributed among children and they are also taken out on excursion, he added.
Mahantesh said as a child, he used to visit orphanages and juvenile homes with parents. “That helped me understand the problems of those children and inspired me to start Samarthanam,” he added.

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Sagar Biswas

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