Rights of 32 severely disabled women in Kullu-based shelter being violated as HP Social Justice Dept mocks at High Court orders
The 32 inmates have been adjusted in small rooms and there are no beds for them. They all sleep on the floor. The NGO has no resources to call the expert doctors like Psychiatrist and Gynecologist to visit the Home on regular intervals.
SHIMLA- A disability rights activist in Himachal Pradesh, in a letter to the Secretary, Department of Social Justice and Empowerment, Himachal Pradesh, revealed miserable state of the Adarsh Institute for Mentally Challenged Females at Kalath in District Kullu.
The activist Ajai Srivastava said that the Department has shifted its responsibility to a Kullu-based Non-Profit Organisation (NGO) to house the mentally ill and mentally retarded women that were shifted here from Government’s Nari Sewa Sadan, Mashobra and Old Age Home, Basantpur, Distt. Shimla. However, as Government didn’t provide sufficient funds and resources, the inmates of the shelter are being deprived of their rights and are forced to live in inhuman conditions, alleged the activist, who himself visited the shelter.
The Kullu-based NGO currently house 32 mentally and physically disabled women. Despite the best efforts of that NGO, the human rights of severely disabled women are still violated due to lack of resources. The NGO require immediate attention and more resources from the government to maintain a good standard in the home.
There are only two caretakers for the 32 ailing disabled women. It cannot be possible for the two care- takers to take care of 32 severely disabled women, most of them are ailing. There is no sufficient accommodation to accommodate such a large number of inmates in that Home. The inmates have been adjusted in small rooms and there are no beds for them. They all sleep on the floor. The building of that Home is not accessible at all and the disabled women have to suffer.
The NGO has no resources to call the expert doctors like Psychiatrist and Gynecologist to visit the Home on regular intervals. They are also not in position to engage (psychological) counsellors on daily basis. The Home also lack disabled friendly toilets for the ailing inmates.
Mockery of Honorable High Court’s Orders
The High Court of Himachal Pradesh had directed the state government to set up separate homes for the mentally disabled women and old persons living in those Homes after a PIL was filed by Ajai Shrivasta pertaining to the human rights violations in the state run Nari Sewa Sadan, Mashobra and Old Age Home, Basantpur,
However, instead of starting separate homes for PWD (people with disability) and PMI (people with mental illness) the Department simply shifted its responsibility to the Kullu- based NGO. In June, 2016, the government shifted 28 mentally and physically disabled women from Nari Sewa Sadan, Mashobra and three mentally and physically disabled women from Old Age Home, Basantpur to that Kullu based Home.
However, the government has not provided the NGO proper funds for the purpose, therefore, all the staff engaged is highly low paid.
Case of Severely Disabled Anitu
Himachal Watcher had published a report regarding a severely disabled girl Anitu, who was rescued from the remote village of Kungal Balti with efforts of Mr. Shrivastva, was also sent to Kullu based Home on December, 9, 2016. While the doctors at the DDU Hospital in Shimla had declared that she is not suffering from any diseases, the initial check-up at NGO had revealed that she was suffering from severe gynecological conditions and required treatment.
The Secretary had assured that the Director, SC, ST and Minority Affairs, visits that home once in a month. But, as per Mr. Shrivastva, despite his visits, the human rights of voiceless women are not being protected, which goes against the judgment of the High Court.
It was never the intention of the Court to shift the mentally and physically disabled women from the government run home to another home and to keep them in miserable conditions, the activist said.
The activists, in his letter, the requested the Secretary to take note of this serious matter and take immediate action to safeguard the human rights of the ailing disabled women who are voiceless. Otherwise, the activist said, he would have no option but to raise the issue at appropriate forum to ensure justice to the voiceless.