Kejriwal orders inquiry into Asha Kiran Home lapses

New Delhi, (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday expressed shock at the deplorable condition prevailing at the Asha Kiran Home for the mentally challenged and ordered the Chief Secretary to file a report on lapses leading to the death of 11 inmates.

In an official note to Delhi Chief Secretary M.M. Kutty, Kejriwal ordered him to file a report by February 13 and to “personally ensure” that the situation is rectified within a week.

Kejriwal’s directions came a day after Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal on Sunday paid a surprise visit to the Asha Kiran Home and found deplorable conditions that had led to the death of 11 inmates over the last two months.

Maliwal noted over-crowding with up to four patients on a single bed, women inmates made to remove clothes in the open while queueing up for bath and walking naked in the corridors, and CCTV cameras being monitored by male staff.

She also observed stinking rooms, filthy toilets and excreta and urine in the corridors.

Expressing shock, Kejriwal wrote that he was “extremely disturbed” by the reports.

“Chief Secretary should personally ensure that all these deficiencies are removed within a week to the satisfaction of DCW,” he ordered.

He also ordered Kutty to submit a report by Monday evening on how many times the Secretary of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development departments, Dilraj Kaur, visited the Asha Kiran Home and two other homes for mentally challenged in the past.

The Chief Minister also asked why the official did not bring the reports of deaths to the notice of the government.

“What steps did she take when each death was brought to her notice? What steps did she take to prevent these serious lapses,” Kejriwal asked.

Medaram Jathara

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