NEW DELHI -- A surprise inspection by the Delhi Commission of Women at the Asha Kiran home for the mentally challenged on Saturday night reportedly revealed shocking details on the pathetic condition of the patients. At least 11 patients had died in the past two months which was unreported, the team led by DCW chairman Swati Maliwal found.
"Shockingly, nude women were roaming around in the corridors even as there are CCTV cameras installed there which are being monitored by male staff," Maliwal told The Times of India. No reason for the deaths were provided. Child patients were even denied mattresses to sleep in, reported Mail Today.
Asha Kiran was established by the city's government's department of social welfare. The secretary of the department has been now asked to respond to a notice on the matter within 72 hours. The Aam Aadmi Party government had sacked social welfare minister Sandeep Kumar last year, following which deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia has been looking after the department on additional charge.
According to the report, the DCW team also found that up to four patients shared one bed, and women were asked to remove their clothes and stand in line for baths in the open. Staffers were also found using women patients for personal work--like massaging their legs--and cleaning the facility. Patients were also found to be relieving themselves in corridors, which were not cleaned thereafter. Some were patients who should have been in wheelchairs, but were instead crawling to the toilets.
The team also reportedly found a massive staff shortage in the mental health home. Security was also reported to be lax--allowing the DCW team to enter Asha Kiran without any checks.
Over 500 deaths have been reported in Asha Kiran since 2001. In 2010, the Delhi high court had appointed a committee of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) after reports of deaths due to poor medical care and bad conditions in Asha Kiran.
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