LAW, ORDER AND JUSTICE
DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL WELFARE (CORRECTIONAL
ADMINISTRATION WING AND NON-CORRECTIONAL WING)
Organisation: The Department of Social Welfare was formed in 1957 after amalgamating the offices of the Director of Backward Class Welfare and the Chief Inspector of Certified Schools.
The office of the Directorate of Social Welfare has been divided into two wings, one dealing with backward class welfare and the other dealing with correctional work and the work relating to the welfare of women under the social and moral hygiene programme and of the physically-handicapped. In the correctional wing, the Director of Social Welfare is assisted by the Deputy Director of Social Welfare (Correctional Administration) who is also ex-officio Chief Inspector of Certified Schools and Institutions.
At the district level the correctional wing has no elaborate administrative machinery, save Superintendents of the institutions posted in the district where there are institutions. The District Social Welfare Officer is primarily responsible for the welfare of backward classes.
The correctional administration wing is responsible for the implementation of the Bombay Children Act, 1948, which is applicable throughout the State. Broadly speaking, this Act provides for the protection of destitute, neglected and victimised children below the age of 16 and seeks reformation of delinquent children through training provided in remand homes and certified schools.
Children Act: The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959, deals with the problem of elimination of beggary. It is, however, not applicable throughout the State but only to the cities of Bombay and Pune. The Bombay Probation of Offenders Act, 1938, provides for the probation of offenders in lieu of jail punishment in suitable cases recommended by the probation officers appointed by this department
under the Act. Its jurisdiction extends over the districts of western Maharashtra only. So also the Bombay Habitual Offenders Restriction Act, 1959, is applicable to western Maharashtra only and deals with the prevention of crime and treatment of offenders. Such habitual offenders are sent to industrial and agricultural settlements for their rehabilitation in appropriate cases. The Bombay Borstal Schools Act, 1929, is applicable to western Maharashtra and deals with offenders between the age of 16 and 21 committed to the Borstal School, Kolhapur. The provisions of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1958, are implemented by the Police Department. However, the Department of Social Welfare is responsible for starting the protective homes and supervising the administration of these homes provided for in the Act. The Women's and Children's Institutions Licensing Act, 1956, is an all-India legislation providing for the licensing of institutions opened by voluntary agencies for the benefit of women and children.
After-Care Programme: Besides these social legislations with which this department is actively concerned, the Directorate of Social Welfare has undertaken the following after-care programmes pertaining to the welfare of children and women.
The Maharashtra State Probation and After-Care Association is a federal body devoted to the care and the after-care programme relating to children wherever the Bombay Children Act has been applied. Remand homes are sponsored by the District Probation and After-Care Association which are affiliated to this body. In the aftercare field the Association maintains after-care hostels for boys and girls released from certified schools.
Social and Moral Hygiene Programme: The object of the social and moral hygiene programme sponsored by the Central Social Welfare Board is to take care of women's welfare. It envisages the opening of reception centres and state homes for women either released from the correctional institutions or seeking shelter on reference.
Reception Centre: There is one reception centre at Sholapur which
provides shelter and care to women in moral danger and those neglected and
needing immediate shelter, guidance and help. At present a woman is allowed to
remain in the centre for six months. In case she is not rehabilitated during the
period, she is required to be transferred to other state home anywhere in the State. It is generally experienced that it is not possible to rehabilitate the woman in the prescribed period of six months, when there is no vacancy in the State Home. It is, therefore, proposed to convert this Reception Centre into Reception Centre-cum-State Home. The intake capacity of this State Home will be fifty. A provision of Rs. 2.00 lakhs has been made in the Fifth Plan for meeting the expenditure.
Juvenile Guidance Centre: It is proposed to open 25 juvenile guidance centres in the district in the Fifth Plan for which a provision of Rs. 1.75 lakhs has been made in the District Plan. It will provide material for reading such as magazines, books, newspapers, provision for in-door and out-door games, etc.
The anticipated expenditure on the district level schemes executed during the Fourth Plan period is as under:-
| 4th Plan anticipated expenditure
(Rs. in lakhs)
The entire expenditure on this scheme is being borne by the Central Social Welfare Board, New Delhi, from the year 1971.
An amount of Rs. 3.75 lakhs has been set apart in the District Plan of Sholapur for the schemes proposed to be undertaken under this sector of development.
The department is also in charge of work relating to the education and rehabilitation of the physically-handicapped. The department runs schools for the various categories of the handicapped and also sheltered workshops for their sake as well as homes for crippled children for their treatment and education. It also aids voluntary agencies doing work in this field.
The department also accords grants to dance, drama and music institutions and also to other social welfare institutions such as rescue homes, mahila mandals, akhadas, Kustigir Parishads, Bharat Sevak Samaj, etc. As a preventive measure juvenile guidance centres have been organised in localities which are the breeding places of delinquency. In order to promote a proper sense of community living among the youth, youth clubs have been organised.
Remand Home: A remand home has been sanctioned for the reception of children coming under the purview of the Bombay Children Act, under the management of the District Probation and After-Care Association, Sholapur, which receives grant-in-aid towards the expenditure incurred for the purpose.