Report reveals glaring violations, neglect at Gandhi Vanita Ashram | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Report reveals glaring violations, neglect at Gandhi Vanita Ashram

punjab Updated: Jun 16, 2014 21:18 IST
Jatinder Kohli

An inquiry report prepared by the district and sessions judge has revealed glaring violations of norms and gross mismanagement at Gandhi Vanita Ashram, where inmates had recorded their statement on April 25.

The inspection report was prepared on May 9 by district and sessions judge Raj Shekhar Attri who along with chief judicial magistrate-cum-secretary district legal services authority Rana Kanwar Deep Kaur had visited the home.

Hindustan Times procured a copy of the report under Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005, from the office of district and sessions judge.

The report states that there was no security arrangement for observation home, children home and children home for girls at the complex. No watchman or police security was deployed. Moreover, strangers were found inside the ashram complex without any authorisation to do so.

The report also reveals that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras were found installed in the living rooms of children, in gross violation of their privacy.

The CCTV cameras were given to the ashram authorities to install at the entry gate.

The outer wall of the building was found just four-feet high, allowing the intruders an easy access to the complex. Moreover, no visitor's register was maintained by those running the ashram.

The sanitary conditions were far from satisfactory with utter disregard to cleanliness.

The report further says that no cook was deployed for cooking food for the inmates who were preparing meal for themselves. No diet chart was given to inmates despite this having been circulated earlier.

The inmates were not given clothes and other garments, the report says, adding that clothes were stored in a room and not supplied to the beneficiaries.

The report further reads that no teacher was appointed for imparting education or vocational training to inmate girls who were keen to learn stitching, sewing, embroidery, nursing and computer etc.

No entertainment or sports activities were conducted in the complex, adversely affecting the inmates' health. Bicycles provided to the girls were found stored in a room and no suggestion or complaint box was found there, the report reads further.

A suggestion or complaint box must be installed in each room of the home and its keys be handed over to the district legal services authority secretary.

Electricity fitting was not proper which needed to be immediately repaired and electricity wiring should be got fitted underground with security gadgets. Further, there was not any alternative power supply in the entire premises.

No fire fighting system was installed into premises to avoid any untoward incident. No proper mechanism was set up for counseling of the inmates.

A copy each of the report was forwarded to Punjab government, registrar of Punjab and Haryana high court, social security and women and child welfare department, Jalandhar deputy commissioner, police commissioner and Punjab legal services authority.

On April 24, Rana Kanwar Deep Kaur, along with two members of the district legal services authority raided the Gandhi Vanita Ashram and found various discrepancies. The next day, Attri arrived at ashram was even confined by the protesting inmates for a few hours.

Jaswinder Kaur, superintendent of Gandhi Vanita Ashram, said, "Cameras were removed the very next day of the inspection and installed near the entry gate. After inspection, a cook, physical instructors, career counseller and helpers have been appointed but are yet to join their duty."

She added that an electric power generator will be installed at the complex. "We have met the new deputy commissioner and requested him to visit the complex," she further said.

The report

* The report was prepared by district and sessions judge Raj Shekhar Attri after inmates alleged of maltreatment by those running the home
* Attri along with chief judicial magistrate Rana Kanwar Deep Kaur had visited the home and recorded inmates' statements on April 25
* A copy of the report, prepared on May 9, was forwarded to Punjab government, HC registrar among others


Picture of utter neglect?

* No cook deployed for cooking food for inmates prepared meal for themselves
* Inmates not given clothes and other garments
* No teacher appointed for imparting education or vocational training to inmate girls
* No entertainment or sports activities conducted in the complex, thus adversely affecting the inmates' health
*No suggestion/complaint box, to be installed in each room of the home, found there