[AI] Attempts To Find Shelter For Disabled Abandoned Boy Fail - Lucknow - City

V. Jayakumar jayakumar.vaishnavi at gmail.com
Tue Aug 10 23:06:21 EDT 2010

Attempts To Find Shelter For Disabled Abandoned Boy Fail - Lucknow - City
*Ashish Tripathi, TNN, Aug 10, 2010, 07.32am IS*

LUCKNOW: A multi-disabled destitute boy, about six years old, found
abandoned in Charbagh, has exposed government's apathy towards the most
helpless. The plight of mentally and physically disabled boy can make the
hard-hearted go weak, but officers are unmoved. Neither there is any special
asylum for such destitute in UP, nor government departments -- disabled
welfare, women & child welfare, social welfare -- are ready to keep the boy
in their shelter homes.

This is not the only case. A mentally retarded teenaged boy under treatment
at SPM Civil Hospital, who was discharged two days back, was left on the
streets as no one was ready to provide shelter to him. Similar fate awaits a
mentally retarded woman under treatment in RML Hospital. Admitted after she
delivered a baby on roadside, the woman was apparently raped by some
pervert. Over 35 mentally retarded destitute have been found abandoned in
the city this year so far.

The boy was found in an unconscious state by government railway police (GRP)
on June 7. He was admitted in Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University
(CSMMU). After treatment, on doctor's request, the city magistrate on July
27 directed the police to admit the boy in Shishu Grih at Prag Narain Road,
run by women and child welfare department. But Grih superintendent Manju
Verma refused saying that home does not have any facility for multi-disabled

On August 5, the boy was sent to Allahabad, where disabled welfare
department runs a school for mentally disabled children, but authorities
refused to take the boy citing a government order which allowed admission of
children above seven years of age and those having a guardian. The boy was
brought back to the Shishu Grih on August 6. The women and child welfare
department will now take up the issue with the principal secretary disabled
welfare for a permanent solution.

Dr Yogesh Govil, who attended the boy at CSMMU, said that the boy is
mentally retarded and suffers from `development delay'. He cannot sit or
walk because he has not been trained properly at the early age. "Physical
disability can be cured upto some extent through physiotherapy, love and
affection," he added. Social activists slammed the state government for
spending crores on constructing a university for disabled but doing nothing
for the disabled destitute.

The state has an estimated over 10,000 mentally retarded and multi-disabled
destitute but the disabled welfare department does not run even a single
home for them. Last year, a multi-disabled five years old boy, Rinku, who
was forced to live on roadside for five months, was found in Charbagh.
Rinku's case was highlighted by the media which led to filing of public
interest litigations. The high court directed state government to make
shelter homes for such destitute.

Subsequently, social welfare commissioner Prem Narain approved a proposal as
per which government had to fund NGOs for running the shelter. But courtesy
apathy of disabled welfare department, the project which was scheduled to be
completed by July has not started as yet. Four homes (in Bareilly,
Gorakhpur, Meerut and Allahabad) are also incomplete till date. The boy in
question is at present in Shishu Grih at Prag Narain Road.

"We have kept him on humanitarian grounds," said director, women and child
welfare, Bihari Swarup. Director disabled welfare S K Dwivedi said that he
is working on a Rs 10 crore project to construct asylums for mentally
retarded destitute at least in five major cities. The Central government has
approved the project in principle but it will take 1-2 years to materialise,
he said. Social welfare commissioner Prem Narain assured that he would look
into the matter.

Read more: Attempts to find shelter for disabled abandoned boy fail -
Lucknow - City - The Times of India

Earlier article on this theme by same journalist

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