DIRECTORATE OF SOCIAL WELFARE (correctional administration wing and non-correctional wing)

The Department of Social Welfare was formed in 1957 after amalgamating offices of the Director of Backward Class Welfare and the Chief Inspector of Certified Schools.

At the Ministerial level, it is controlled by the Ministry of Social Welfare and at the Secretariat level there is a combined Department of Education and Social Welfare. 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 Chief Inspector of Certified Institutions. There are three Assistant Directors of Social Welfare, each in charge of children's work, beggars' work and plan work, respectively. There is also a Probation Superintendent of the rank of Assistant Director for looking after the work under the Probation of Offenders Act. There is also a small unit of inspectorate staff working under the Chief Inspector.

At the divisional level the department has regional officers called Divisional Social Welfare Officers, each posted at the head-quarters of the revenue division. They are entrusted with administrative and supervisory work relating to all the subjects handled by the Directorate of Social Welfare. For correctional and allied work they have been given the assistance of an Inspector of Certified Schools. Since the formation of the Zilla Parishad, their services haw been transferred to the Zilla Parishad.

At the district level, the correctional wing has no elaborate administrative machinery save Superintendents of the Institutions posted in the district wherever there are institutions. The District Social Welfare Officer is primarily responsible for 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 eases recommended by the probation officers appointed by this department under the Act. Its jurisdiction extends over the districts of western Maharashtra only. The Central Provinces and Berar Probation of Offenders Act, 1936, is applicable to the eight districts of Vidarbha Region. The Central Probation of Offenders Act, 1958, is applicable to the four districts in Aurangabad division. 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 eases. The Bombay Borstal Schools Act, 1929, is applicable to western Maharashtra and deals with offenders between the ages of 16 and 21 and committed to the Borstal School, Kolhapur. The provisions of the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956, 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. For this purpose the Chief Inspector of Certified Schools is the Chief Inspector of the protective homes. At present there is only one such home at Chembur in Bombay. 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. For the inspection and supervision of such institutions a special officer, a woman Inspector is appointed while the Director of Social Welfare works as the licensing authority.

After-care programme : Besides this social legislation 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 after-care programmes relating to children. Wherever the Bombay Children Act has been applied remand homes are sponsored by the District Probation and After-care Associations which are affiliated to this body. In the after-care held 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 programmes 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 cither released from the correctional institutions or seeking shelter on reference. Eight Reception Centres and three State Homes have been functioning in the State of Maharasthra for girls and women in moral danger, destitute or deserted women or women released from institutions.

The department is also in charge of work relating to the education and rehabilitation of the physically-handicapped. At the head-quarters, the work is organised by an officer designated as the Deputy Director, Education and Rehabilitation of the Physically-handicapped. The department runs schools for the various categories of the handicapped and also Shelter 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 Deputy Director (E.R.P.) is assisted by four Inspectors in this work.

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, Miami Sevak Sainaj, etc. As a preventive measure Juvenile Guidance Centres have been organised in localities which are the breeding places of delinquency. In order to promote proper community living among the youth, youth clubs have been organised.

Remand Homes : Remand homes have been started, one each at Ahmadnagar, Sangamner and Shrirampur for the reception of children coming under the purview of the Bombay Children Act which receive grant-in-aid on account of the expenditure thereof. Besides, there are various other Governmental and non-Governmental institutions which are engaged in the welfare activities, and receive grant-in-aid for the same. The institutions are:

Government Beggars' Homes:

(1) Beggars' Home for Males, Visapur, Sub-Home for Beggars, Undirgaon,

(2) Beggars' Home for Males, Ghaipatwadi,

(3) Beggars' Home for Males, Pimpalgaon Pisa,

(4) Beggars' Home for Males, Chimble.

Private Beggars' Homes :

(1) T. B. Sanatorium, Arangaon,

(2) Ahmadnagar District Leprosy Association, Ahmadnagar.

Private Certified School :

(1) Balwadi, Mandavagaon.

Fit Person Institutions:

(1) St. Monika School, Ahmadnagar,

(2) Balikashram, Ahmadnagar,

(3) Sant Gadge Maharaj Chhatralaya, Ahmadnagar,

(4) Ahmadnagar Leprosy Relief Association,

(5) Nava Bharat Chhatralaya, Ahmadnagar.

(6) Anath Vidyarthigriha, Ahmadnagar,

(7) American Mission Girls' School, Ahmadnagar,

(8) Orlinda Memorial School, Rahuri,

(9) Hind Vasatigriha, Pathardi,

(10) Vadala Mission Boys' Hostel. Vadala.

(11) St. Helena School, Miri,

(12) St. Mary's School, Sangamner,

(13) Bal Shikshan Mandal, Sangamner.

Orphanage :

(1) Yatimukhana and Boarding, Ahmadnagar.

Reception Centre :

(1) Reception Centre, Ahmadnagar.