Out of the 20 million orphans in India, less than 1% are in orphanages. 117 districts in India do not have a single orphanage. (Source: MWCD Trackchild-Child Care Institutions in 2015). However, even those who make it there aren’t any better off.
Since its inception in 2009, the mandate of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS, which is now called Child Protection Services or CPS) under the Government of India was to protect these vulnerable children. However, the coverage of this program has been less than 1 lakh children per year.
Poulomi Shukla, a 26-year-old advocate, who filed a PIL in the Supreme Court in July 2018 seeking judicial intervention to ensure that these children are guaranteed the Right to Life, Right to Education and Right to Equality.
Poulomi is seeking reservations for orphans in educational institutions and government jobs. Besides, she wants them to get a slice of state-sponsored scholarships and benefits given to students from SC/ST/OBC communities.