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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014

NGO seeks separate home for children with multiple disabilities

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Shimla, June 23, 2013
First Published: 19:19 IST(23/6/2013) | Last Updated: 19:20 IST(23/6/2013)

Umang Foundation, a public welfare trust, has alleged that the state government is violating the law by keeping children with multiple disabilities in the destitute children's homes.

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In a press conference held here on Sunday, Umang Foundation chairman Ajai Srivastava referring to the recent death of a child with multiple disabilities in special institute for blind and deaf at Dhalli, Shimla, said eight such children were still living in different destitute homes in Shimla district.

He said, “All these children are at risk as no special caregiver has been provided for them by the government. Two of them are in serious condition.”

The foundation has decided to knock the doors of the court to save their lives, he added.

He accused the government of violating three Acts - National Trust Act, Rehabilitation Council of India Act and Juvenile Justice Act - by keeping them in ordinary homes.

He said in the destitute home of the government at Tutikandi, Shimla, four children, Bhura, 16, Amit, 15, Karan, 15, and Laata, 15, suffering from multiple disabilities have been staying for the past many years.

“Lata is in seriously ill and there is no special caregiver or special educator for them in the home,” he lamented.

Another government destitute home at Masli near Rohru has one mentally retarded boy named Uma, he added.

These destitute homes are run by the Department of Women and Child Welfare, which has no jurisdiction over disability issue, while the disabled children are looked after by the SC, ST and Minority Affairs Department.

Srivastava said, “The special institute for blind and deaf at Dhalli still houses three such children. One of them Shyam, 16, is deaf and blind and is seriously ill.”

The State Council for Child Welfare, which runs the institute, has not bothered to provide them disability certificates and also the staff of the home is not trained to deal with multiple disabilities, he added.

“The ordinary staff cannot understand the specific needs, requirements and behaviour of these children,” he added.

“We have been raising these issues before the government since long, but no action has been taken so far. The government should immediately start separate home for children with mental retardation and multiple disabilities,” he demanded.

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