By NewsGram Staff Writer
New Delhi: A Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) investigation has revealed that Nari Niketan, the only shelter home for women in Delhi, is nothing more than a living hell. DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal painted the harrowing picture regarding the same.
The city government suspended two superintendents of Nari Niketan on Saturday and terminated the services of three welfare officers. They had been hired on a contractual basis. Those suspended include the superintendents of Nari Niketan and Half Way Home.
DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal had stayed overnight at the shelter home and submitted a report to women and child development minister Sandeep Kumar about the abysmal conditions of the place.
A Delhi government spokesperson said: “The decision was taken following a meeting of the Delhi Commission for Women with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in which the DCW submitted a detailed report about the poor administration and dereliction of duty by the officials.”
“There were only four cleaning staff deployed in the premises of Nari Niketan who used to leave the premises around 4 pm. The minister has ordered round the clock availability of cleaning staff so that proper hygienic conditions could be ensured in the premises,” he added.
According to the report submitted by DCW, one key issue was ‘safe drinking water’. The minister has ordered for a conformity report to be submitted within 24 hours regarding the status of safe drinking water in the premises.
There will also be reasonable availability of interpreters for women who can’t speak and hear and so were not able to communicate with the legal authorities.
The spokesperson added: “It has been found during the visit that more psychiatrists and psychologists need to be appointed for better treatment of inmates. It has been directed to the department that records related with the inmates will go digital so that necessary tracking of each inmate can be done.”
As per the report, there is also a severe lapse in quantity of food provided to the inmates. It unveiled that fruits and milk meant for the inmates were not distributed in adequate amounts to the inmates.
NGO Shakti Vahini alleged that the shelter staff mistreats the inmates and forces them to change their statements.
President of Shakti Vahini Ravi Kant said: “We are thankful to this government that finally some action has been taken. In 2013, I had given a complaint to the crime branch against the superintendent that she is involved in corruption. But despite raising issues on various platforms, no action was taken against them. In fact, a girl had told the court that she was thrashed by staff inside the Nari Niketan.”
“The staff is abusive there and victims have reported this in court too. We hope that after this strict action, situation will improve here,” he quipped.
The government spokesperson said the suspension order is meant to give a clear-cut message that “no dereliction to duty will be taken for granted and necessary action will be taken against the erring officials.”