Disabled girls - shivering in cold - most of them on half-empty stomachs - in completely unsanitary condition - were left at midnight without any security in a Rajya Shiksha Kendra (RSK) hostel for disabled girls in Sehore. This state of living of girls with learning difficulty was revealed during a sudden midnight inspection of the disabled girls’ hostel by the district administration officials in Mandi area, Sehore city on Saturday midnight.
A team, inclusive of the subdivisional magistrate (SDM) Hirdesh Shrivastava, tehsildars Priyanka Chourasia and RN Tripathi and district project co-ordinator (DPC) of the RSK Ashok Paradkar, conducted the surprise check on the hostel, after reportedly receiving information from the RSK commissioner Rashmi Arun Shami about some serious complaints.
The most serious irregularity found at the hostel, run through a non-government organisation (NGO), was the apparent absence of 20 inmates out of the 48 registered in the hostel. The inspection team of the district administration officials found basic amenities for the disabled girls (up to 14 years of age) - including quality and quantity of food, sanitation, provision of winter wear and others - badly lacking at the hostel.
Also, neither the female warden nor the guard was found present during the inspection, putting a big question mark on the safety and security of the hostel inmates. The secretary of the NGO (that runs the hostel) Avinash Jafri who could be traced after a long time told the team that one of the girls had been shifted to boys’ hostel, upon which the officials berated him badly.
During inspection, the team found gory living conditions for the girls and also came to know that their number was quite short of the actual strength. The hostel’s records have been seized and the DPC is likely to submit a report to the SDM soon, following which, action will be initiated.
While talking to HT, the SDM Hirdesh Shrivastava, said as soon as the report is received, it would be presented to the district collector for necessary action.
“Serious action will be forthcoming as soon as we get the information on the aid received, amenities provided, number of inmates and reason for apparent absence of some of them,” he said. Meanwhile, the district administration has issued strict instructions to the NGO running the hostel to make necessary arrangements for security and comfort of the girls. “Also, we have put revenue officers on duty for constant monitoring of the hostel,” Shrivastava said. The SDM conceded that conditions in the hostel were quite poor and since the inmate girls have learning difficulty, they were unable to express their woes completely.