Himachal Pradesh High Court on Thursday issued notice to the state government regarding plight of severely disabled persons dumped in the Old Age Home, Basantpur despite not being old aged.
A Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice P.S. Rana passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation on a letter written to the Chief Justice by Ajai Srivastava, who runs a NGO. The Court directed the respondents to file status report and replies before next date and posted the matter for February 25.
Notice was served to chief secretary, principal secretary (social justice & empowerment), principal secretary (health), deputy commissioner Shimla, director of welfare, district welfare officer Shimla and SDO rural.
The applicant had alleged that 4 out of 17 inmates of the Old Age Home, Basantpur are severely disabled but not old. They are all between 40 to 50 years old but have been dumped in the Old Age Home, Basantpur.
In his petition, Srivastava said an inmate Surat Ram (42) was an employee of a private company in Shimla before he faced a brain stroke. He was paralyzed and somebody got him admitted in the Old Age Home about one year ago since he has nobody to look after him. He is also denied disability pension.
He also said submitted that government cannot deny their right to avail disability pension merely on the basis that they are living in the Old Age Home. HE also submitted that the matter was taken up with state and the state social welfare board earlier also.
Petitioner urged court to intervene and said all the disabled persons living in the Old Age Home should be given disability pension. He also urged to order inquiry in the fire accident in which an inmate Sonam Bahadur lost his both legs and some agency should be made liable to pay compensation to him his life has been spoiled after the incident.
He said a separate rehabilitation centre should be opened by the state for the helpless disabled persons with facility to provide them some vocational training so that they can become productive citizens and earn their livelihood.