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Govt apathetic towards homes for mentally ill: Court

Govt apathetic towards homes for mentally ill: Court

Irked over the deplorable condition of stay homes for mental patients here, a Delhi court has rapped authorities for their “apathetic” attitude and lack of sensitivity on the issue, saying this had caused files to move at a snail’s pace in the bureaucratic corridors.

Various departments of Delhi Government including the Institute of Human Behaviour and Applied Sciences (IHBAS) need to work in sync and with cohesiveness to serve a social cause, the court said and asked the institutions to urgently come up with solutions to run these stay homes.

Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra’s remarks came while hearing an application by short stay home ‘Nirmal Chhaya’ seeking transfer of a mentally-ill woman to some other home meant for such patients.

Half-way homes serve as a stop-gap place for people who have undergone treatment for mental illness before they venture into the real world.

The Delhi High Court had in 2009 passed directions for making half-way homes after a public interest litigation was filed on the issue.

The court was informed that Delhi Government’s Department of Social Welfare has constructed five half-way homes, but it was depending upon the expertise of IHBAS for running these specialised institutions.

It was also apprised that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also directed IHBAS to take responsibility for running these homes but the institute was not coming up with any solution.

“This case is another glaring example where despite the intervention of Department of Social Welfare, none of the NGOs are willing to lodge the patient due to over crowding. Despite the hyper-sensitivity of the matter, the approval and files are moving at snail’s pace in bureaucratic corridors.

“The departments have failed to understand the sensitivity and are apathetic to prioritise the files pertaining to short stay homes and long stay homes. Both DDA as well as East Delhi Municipal Corporation need to understand the sensitivity and urgency of problem and shall take sincere steps to clear all hurdles impediments for initialization of project,” the judge said.

( Source – PTI )

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