Surprise inspection finds 19 aged persons living in a ‘pitiful’ state at private old age home
The inspection was carried out jointly by the women and child development (WCD) minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and DCW chief Swati Maliwal.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 02:50 IST
An inspection of a privately run old-age home in outer Delhi’s Nihal Vihar on Friday night has revealed that 19 senior citizens were housed in “unhygienic and pitiful” conditions, the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said on Saturday.
The inspection was carried out jointly by the women and child development (WCD) minister Rajendra Pal Gautam and DCW chief Swati Maliwal. The two had visited the shelter home after receiving a complaint on the 181 women’s helpline.
“The team, on reaching the shelter saw that 19 senior citizens, many of them specially abled, were living in a small room …There was no separate living space for men and women, and several of them were forced to share beds,” a statement from the DCW said, while adding that many inmates had defecated in their bed.
A DCW member said one elderly inmate allegedly told them that she was tied and beaten by the shelter home officials when she tried to leave to her daughter’s home.
“…The woman was immediately rescued from the home and was safely sent to her daughter,” the DCW said.
Minister Gautam said he has directed the social welfare department to rehabilitate the residents and are also verifying the details of the owner of the home. “ The residents will be moved either to the Dwarka or Rohini old age home facilities over the next two days. We will take strict action against the owner of the home,” he said.
A senior police officer, who did not wish to be named, said a police team went to check the premises on being alerted by the DCW. “But no inmate filed a formal complaint. In one case, we arranged to transfer an elderly woman to her daughter’s house,” the official said.
The old age home is located in Chander Vihar, outer Delhi. Bittoo (goes by a single name), who manages the home, said he started running the shelter for the destitute and abandoned elderly people around 10 years ago.
“I took this room on rent and made it into a home. A DCW team raided the home on Friday after which the police also came. I don’t take any money from any individual or organisation to run the home. Some well-wishers donate ration and other items. All these allegations of beating up the elderly and keeping them here forcefully are completely wrong. There are many whom we rescue from the streets. There are some who have been abandoned by families. We do not have enough money and are able to provide our inmates meals only twice a day. We had sought help from local politicians, but none came forward,” Bittoo, who manufactures and sells printing material to make a living, said.
Susheel Malik, vice-president of the trust that runs the home, said theirs is a non-profit organisation . “The allegations are completely false. Men and women sleep in different beds and are cared for. Some are too old and unwell that they defecate the bed, but the caretaker cleans them up each time,” he said. .