Friday, January 15, 2010

Asha Kiran- a state run hope for disabled reports 12 deaths in December alone!


Dear Friends,


Nothing is well at Asha Kiran. With the capacity of 350, you stuff 730 inmates, isn't this a violation of basic human rights of those who can't take care of themselves due to their disabling conditions that they live with?

Also are we providing sufficient support to the numbers housed there with one carer looking after 40 persons? Is it humanely possible for one person to care 40 inmates with varying degree of disability and associated medical condition like epilepsy, tuberculosis- forget about fever, cold, smaller injuries! This is gross violation and you can't expect the carers to work at Rs 3934/- per month and look after 40 people every day.

Perhaps it is the fear of catching infections that even the doctors do not examine them closely and properly! This is just not acceptable. The facilities need to be created /provided strictly as per norms as it is the responsibility of the Govt. Each life is precious !

Hope each one you are perturbed at the conditions that prevail at Asha Kiran in Delhi and several other institutions across length and breadth of India in similar state which never make headlines! If we tolerate it as an accepted norm, perhaps we don't deserve to be called a socialist democratic republic!




In December, 12 people died at this home for mentally retarded; few caregivers, little care, reveals report by Social Welfare Department


As the green ambulance rolls through the 7-ft gates of Asha Kiran complex, in Awantika, near Rohini, a middle-aged man looks out of the window, trying to capture one last glimpse of the outside world. Within seconds, the gates shut.


In December, 12 deaths were reported here — three of them within 24 hours.


The inquiry report by the Social Welfare Department (a copy of which is with Newsline) under which the centre works, concludes that death is not new for Asha Kiran.  Over the last four years, 128 inmates have died in the home. The complex, built for 350 people, now houses 730.

“The mentally retarded inmates suffer from multiple deficiencies as far as physical health is concerned. Because of this, particularly in respect of severely retarded inmates, life expectancy is relatively low,” reads the report filed by Director, Social Welfare, S A Awardi. According to the report, 60 per cent of inmates are in the “category of severely or profoundly mentally retarded persons.” Many inmates do not even survive a year. There is no segregation of people who have infectious diseases like tuberculosis.

The inmates are taken care of by ‘house aunties’. The staff reveals that each of them sometimes take care of over 40 people. They are paid Rs 3,934 per month for 8-hour daily job — which probably explains why a majority of the caregivers quit within days of joining.


“The inmates feed each other and give each other a bath,” said a sweeper working in the male ward. “There’s too much noise and it is not easy to work.”

The report states: “Many gave up their jobs after serving for a very short period. It is mentioned that providing every care like a mother to mentally retarded persons is really difficult.”

Constant medical care is available. But the staff say the doctors merely prescribe medicines without even closely examining the inmates.


Despite the fact that the walls of the complex are nearly 10-feet tall and the high gates are guarded 24-hours, the officials have even reported cases of children going missing. On December 24, the Social Welfare Department advertised in newspapers about two inmates. One of them, Raju, was 16 years old and 4.8 ft tall. He was admitted on 21 May and has been missing since 16 September. More bizarre was the case of the 7-year-old boy admitted in December 2006. The child was merely 3.6 ft tall.


December deaths
Dec 2: Krishna (16), living here since 2007. Post mortem report awaited
Dec 9: Anu (20), had been staying since 2006. Cause of death tuberculosis and epileptic fit
Dec 12: Ranveer Kumar (48), was admitted at Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Mangolpuri, since 16 November following dehydration and swelling in legs
Dec 14: Manjeet (55) was admitted at the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, suffered from swelling of body
Dec 15: Raj Kumar (42) admitted in Sanjay Gandhi Hospital since 12 December. Had swelling of body, difficulty in breathing
Dec 18: Seeta Gauri (19), living here since 1989. Cause of death cardio-pulmonary arrest
Dec 19: Sandeep, was under treatment since Nov 29 at Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, was referred to LNJP. Cause of death Meningoencephalitis with refractory shock
Dec 25: Soni, living here since in 2007, died due to seizure disorder
Dec 27: Meena Payal (38), living here since 1999, postmortem report awaited
Dec 29: Angoori (19), living here since August 200, was suffering from asthma and TB
Dec 29: Sangeeta (21), had been living here since 1996. Body discovered several hours after death, was a victim of bone tuberculosis
Dec 30: Deepti (12) had been here since March 2009, cause of death epilepsy



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