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D.R.G.’s protest against government’s apathy on deaths at Asha Kiran

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: The indifference of the Delhi government in dealing with the deaths at Asha Kiran hit a raw nerve among several rights groups. On February 2, civil rights groups and N.G.O.s. working for persons with disabilities staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar to protest against governments inaction and shocking lack of concern.

In the last two months, 22 people have died at the observation home for mentally retarded people. Shockingly, nothing was done about it! Despite being directed by the National Human Rights Commission (N.H.R.C.) to look into the deaths, the Delhi government and its social welfare department took no action to improve the condition of inmates.

We want the Delhi government to act now! Asha Kiran needs to be decongested first of all. After that, urgent attention needs to be given to the hygiene aspects and medical care aspects of all the 700 plus people there. They are human beings for Gods sake and should be treated with respect, said Javed Abidi, Convenor, Disabled Rights Group (D.R.G.).

G. Syamala, Executive Director, Action for Abilities Development and Inclusion (A.A.D.I.), who had visited the home said, The complex is in a shabby state and inmates are lodged in large dormitories.

All 730 inmates are kept in unbelievable conditions. The capacity of the home is only 350! The government should ensure constant monitoring, added Radhika Alkazi, Managing Trustee, Alternative Strategies for the Handicapped (A.S.T.H.A.).

Realizing the seriousness of the issue, the Delhi government has now formed a committee to probe the deaths at the observation home. A report on the matter is still awaited.