India

After rape horror, teams to visit MP shelter homes to check fans!

According to a WCD ciruclar dated August 9, the questionnaire to be followed by the inspection team focuses on availability of TV sets, fans, buckets, mugs and even Internet facilities.

Bhopal: At a time when horrific incidents of sex abuse in shelter homes are being reported in the country, including Madhya Pradesh, the focus of an inspection of girls’ shelter and remand homes ordered by the MP women and child development (WCD) department is on general amenities and facilities, rather than safety and security aspects.

According to a WCD ciruclar dated August 9, the questionnaire to be followed by the inspection team focuses on availability of TV sets, fans, buckets, mugs and even Internet facilities. But, on the safety aspect, the only questions are on presence of CCTV cameras and whether security is adequate or inadequate.

We have instructed that inspection should be conducted of all shelter homes in the state and not just these 29. Though the questionnaire focusses on facilities, our female officers would also look into the atmosphere of the shelter homes to gauge safety level -Archana Chitnis, WCD minister   

It has no scope for interaction with the inmates to gauge their feedback on whether they feel safe and comfortable in the shelter homes. Also, the format is not elaborative as all questions are to be answered in just ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

The inspection has been planned after an order of the WCD ministry in this regard. Though, the order says the motive is to analyse the atmosphere and behaviour of staff, the inspection format (copy available with DB Post), does not fulfill this criteria.

Few points of the questionnaire

  • Are there adequate numbers of buckets and mugs?
  • Are lights and fans available?
  • Is there a TV Set available with cable network?
  • Do children get individual plates and mugs?
  • Are flushes and taps working?
  • Is the floor slippery?
  • How often are children allowed to view TV?
  • Do they interact with eminent personalities?

102 homes left out

  • More concerning is the fact that only 29 shelter homes have been shortlisted for these inspections.
  • However, according to the figures presented in Rajya Sabha against a question on July 26 last, there are 121 registered child care institutions in the state, which means 102 homes have been left out.

Only govt officials in inspection teams

Only senior officials of WCD department have been included in the team that will inspect shelter homes in the state.

‘Shelter homes to be inspected every month’ 

Bhopal: Taking serious note of a 20-year-old tribal woman being raped by the director of a city-based private hostel for speech and hearing impaired girls, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, on Friday said senior officials would visit shelter homes run by aided non-government organisations (NGOs), on a regular basis.

“A decision was taken at a high-level meeting held on Friday that the district collector or the superintendent of police would inspect aided NGOs where girls are staying at least once a month,” Chouhan told media persons at his residence here.

“Senior officials would interact with girls and boost their morale. Endeavours would be made so that officials visit every hostel. Likewise, rules would be framed, so that girls and women are safe in private hostels,” he said.

Chouhan said that the accused hostel director Ashwani Sharma has been arrested. A charge sheet would be submitted before the court soon, to ensure the culprit is punished at the earliest, he added.

 

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M. Poornima

Principal Correspondent DBPost Past : Hindustan Time