The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) carried out a surprise inspection of the Asha Kiran home for mentally challenged persons in Rohini, and observed that the premises had “dirty toilets, nude inmates and mentally challenged persons crawling on the floor”, among other things.
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal and other staff members visited the home on Saturday night and issued a notice to the secretary, Social Welfare, of the Delhi government.
Swati along with DCW member Promila Gupta and other staff members, spent the night on Saturday at the shelter home and found gross violations of human rights, extremely unhygienic toilets and shortage of staff.
“Women were being made to remove their clothes in the open while being lined up for taking a bath. Shockingly, completely nude women were roaming around in the corridors,” Maliwal said.
“Moreover, the corridors of the dormitory had CCTV cameras installed which are being monitored by male staffers. The Commission saw the CCTV footage which captured mentally- challenged women roaming around nude,” Maliwal said in a statement.
The commission said it was “deeply disturbed at the inhuman condition” in the home and Maliwal issued a notice to the Secretary of the Delhi government’s Social Welfare department to respond within 72 hours as the “matter is extremely serious and concerns the life and liberty of the residents”.
In its notice, the DCW said, “It is to be remembered that the state has a huge responsibility to look after the mentally -challenged people. The state needs to make special efforts to look after them as at times they are unable to share and communicate themselves like others.”
The team also found that there was a massive shortage of staff, with just one ‘house aunty’ deputed to look after 153 residents in one dormitory. The report said that mentally challenged residents were being made to sweep, clean clothes and assist in daily chores. In cottage No.1, the commission saw a staffer getting her legs pressed by a mentally challenged resident.
“We saw no wheelchairs were being used. Women and children were crawling on the floor, unattended, while going to the toilets. There is no clinical psychologist at the home and only one psychiatrist visits the place twice a week for a few hours. Several posts of doctors are also vacant,” said Maliwal.
Meanwhile, BJP has demanded the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia who is responsible for social welfare department which looks after the home, located in Rohini.
The BJP also demanded that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal should own moral responsibility of the death of the 11 children and set up a high power committee to improve the living condition at Asha Kiran Homes.
“The Delhi government is responsible for the death of 11 innocent children inmates of Asha Kiran Homes and it is now trying to evade responsibility and mislead the people,” Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said.