Saturday, 13 September 2014

Creche in Madras High Court

When I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court ( 2004-2005 ) I thought of setting up a creche in the High Court.

A creche is an institution invented in the West. It caters to pre-nursery children, usually below the age of 3 or 4 years. There are many working women, whose husbands are also working. Their problem is what to do with their small children when they are at work. Obviously the child cannot be left alone in the house, with no one no to look after him/her. As long as there were joint families the grandparents often looked after the small children, but joint families are breaking up in India today.

 In the Madras High Court there were many young married ladies who  were lawyers or Registry staff having small children.

In a creche the small child can be left by the mother/father while going to work, and then picked up on the way home in the evening. During this time the child is looked after by adults, many of whom are professionally trained. In the creche the child is fed ( with milk, biscuits, etc) and can play with toys. He can also learn alphabets etc. often through toys.

The creche was set up in the High Court in early 2005, and I believe it is still running. There was no professionally trained person whom I knew then, and so i appointed a young highly educated lady as a class 3 employee to run it, and provided some class 4 staff to help her, and gave her other help. She did a good job. When I visited it ( which was often) I saw that she had organized some toys for the children to play with, put up beautiful paintings on walls, and made good arrangements for milk etc to feed the children there. The children seemed to be happy.

I think this concept should be followed in all establishments having many young married women

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