5 years on, no material, grant for Sukhjit Ashram

  • Parampreet Singh Narula, Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
  • Updated: Nov 29, 2014 22:40 IST

A victim of government apathy, Sukhjit Ashram, a home for differently-abled children in the city, has not received any material supply or grant for over five years.

The material supplies include clothes, shoes, beds and bedsheets which the state government provides for the differently-abled children every month.

The home, however, is getting food and salaries of staff on time. The state government is running the home since 1994.

Sources said the authorities mention the grant for the home in their annual budget, but no funds or material have been supplied on the ground.

They said due to non-availability of material and funds, the authorities have to depend on donations from non-government organisations (NGO) and volunteers.

“The home needs at least Rs 80,000 annually as material and supply grant to fulfil the basic need of the 30 inmates,” an official said.

Last month, the home was short of beds due to which two children would share a single bed.
The ashram management repaired some beds recently with the help of donations they received from an NGO.

The ashram is also undergoing a huge staff crunch as only one caretaker and a cook are taking care of 30 children.

Moreover, a male caretaker looks after the inmates, many of whom are teenaged girls. There are two sanctioned posts of caretaker and one helper at the ashram.

Director social security Alaknanda Dayal said, “The ashram is not facing any kind of problem of funds. This time, the ashram management has given us bills of material and supply that will be given soon.”

After HT highlighted the plight of inmates at the Ashram on October 15, Amarjit Singh Anand, convener of Punjab Disability Rights Group, has forwarded a letter to the State Disability Commissioner, Secretary of Social Justice, National Trust, SJ&E (Disability) department and
Jalandhar division commissioner for the implementation of schemes for special children.

Anand said due to the negligence of the administration officials, including district social security officer, sub-divisional magistrate, the plight of inmates at the ashram has gone from bad to worse.

“There are so many schemes the government has announced for taking special care of such children but they were not implemented by the local administration. These children are forced to live under unhygienic conditions,” he added.

He said the National Trust Act guardianship scheme and Nirmaya Health Scheme are the examples which are not being taken seriously by the district administration.

Anand also demanded five special educators and five teachers from Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan to teach the ashram inmates.

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