PalnaTM (which means "cradle") is our home for abandoned, homeless and destitute children. It is possibly the most well-known programme of DCCW. Established in 1978, and located in Qudsia Bagh, Old Delhi, it is a haven of peace, security and stability for the children who come here.
Today, on an average, PalnaTM looks after 90-100 children daily ranging in age from new-borns to 8-year-olds. Notwithstanding the high standards of care at PalnaTM , we at DCCW believe that a child does not belong in an institution, but in a family. The first effort is to trace the family and restore the child to its birth parents. When it is established that the child is abandoned or has not been claimed by its family, all efforts are made to place it in adoption.
DCCW is licensed to do both in-country and inter-country adoptions. The Adoption Programme at PalnaTM began in 1978 and over the last three decades we have placed over 2800 children in loving families, selected after rigorous screening and evaluation procedures.
Every effort is made at PalnaTM to move away from an institutional environment to a homely one, to create an atmosphere of caring and calm and to bring a smile onto the face of each child. The emphasis in PalnaTM is on total care. PalnaTM 's multi-specialty medical programme, non-formal educational sessions and recreational facilities and activities, address all aspects of children’s development, good health and overall well-being.
At PalnaTM infants often arrive in a precarious state of health – low birth weight babies, hypothermic babies, babies with trauma and congenital defects. Survival is the most immediate challenge for a newborn. A Medical Crisis Unit equipped with an incubator, ventilator, a phototherapy unit, etc handles emergencies among infants and new-borns. Round-the-clock doctors, nurses and care givers, an emergency care medical unit, and access to hospitals close by ensure that our children are given the best possible medical care. Mortality in PalnaTM today is negligible.
PalnaTM has a physiotherapist, a special educator, a nursery teacher and a speech therapist to supervise the growth and development of the children. In addition, a child guidance counsellor regularly assesses the children and monitors their progress. Training programmes are conducted at regular intervals for our PalnaTM attendants on subjects such as hygiene, handling of infants, and appropriate stimulation for children. Together the caregivers and specialists make the staff-child ratio of 1:4.
There are separate dormitories in PalnaTM for older girls, older boys, toddlers and infants. In addition, there is a separate wing with two dormitories for mentally challenged children. Adoption is not an option for mentally challenged children who will remain institutionalized.
The Pre-school Learning Programme along with Counseling and Stimulation Programmes have ensured that there are no more delayed milestones due to institutionalization. PalnaTM has a large playground equipped with swings and slides and cycles. Separate playgrounds for toddlers and older children equipped with age-appropriate toys, games and play equipment ensure that our children have plenty of recreation and exercise. Outings, picnics and parties provide exciting breaks from their daily routine.