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Nari Niketan Case: National Trust Sub-Committee members visit newborn Pari

D.N.I.S. News Network, India: A few months back, question marks were being put on her birth by self proclaimed keepers of human rights. But today, Pari (meaning angel) is living up to her name – happy and well looked after by her mother, 19 year old Sonam (name changed), who has mild mental retardation. This was reported by members of National Trust’s Sub-Committee, who visited mother and child in Chandigarh on January 15.

Dr. Shanti Auluck and Vandana Bedi found that both mother and daughter “looked very healthy, happy and well taken care of” at the Government run home for mentally disabled women, Ashreya. Sonam was feeding her baby and independently taking care of her other needs like cleaning and changing. She did not seem to have any problem with getting up at night for feeding. She only needed help while bathing Pari.

However, the members felt that there was no systematic plan for providing information and training to Sonam on child rearing, although there was a State appointed female attendant. Moreover, both mother and child remain confined to a room allocated to them for larger part of the day. These concerns were brought to the notice of Convenor, Ashreya, Vani Ratnam who expressed her inability to have any influence on the Chandigarh Administration.

The report submitted by the members strongly stated that suggestions given by the National Trust earlier to the Chandigarh Administration should be implemented.