Letter to CS requesting inquiry in the case of human rights violation at Basantpur Old Age Home



Date : 13th July, 2012

The Chief Secretary to the
Government of Himachal Pradesh,


I am pained to write to you about the gross human rights violations of inmates of the old age home being run by state social welfare board at Basantpur, District Shimla. You are requested to kindly treat this communiqué as MOST URGENT and take appropriate action immediately to save the life of poor, abandoned and ailing inmates. The departments of social justice and empowerment and the Directorate of SC, OBC and Minority Affaires have failed to fulfill their legal obligations and have been misleading the public.

I have procured ample information under RTI Act which is enough to expose the callous attitude and wrong doings of the Directorate of SC, OBC & Minority Affairs which created such a vicious atmosphere in the old age home that dying dog’s death has become inmates’ fait accompli and their bodies are cremated without performing any rites as per their religious faith.

The following is brought in to your kind notice for consideration and immediate action:

  1. A team of Umang Foundation visited Old Age Home on 25th March, 2012 to provide some wall clocks, radio sets and some other things of daily needs to the inmates. We were stunned to see the environment prevailing upon there and it is difficult to express the same now. You may have some idea by going through the attached news paper clippings on April 2, 2012.
  2. There were atleast half a dozen inmates with multiple disabilities including mental sickness at that time.
  3. The Director Health Services, on the orders of High Court dated 15.12.11 in case of CWPIL 18/ 2011, had issued guidelines for the implementation of “ Mental Health Programme and Mental Health Act, 1987” in the state. It was clearly stated in these guidelines as under :

“Health Checkup of Inmates: The routine health checkups and mental health checkups of all the inmates shall be ensured in the entire Old Age Homes, Nari Niketans and such like by the Deptt. of Social Justice and Empowerment by the nearest health institutions.”

  1. The Department of Social Justice and Empowerment never paid attention on the said guidelines issued on 30.12.11 till I addressed a press conference on April 1, 2012.
  2. When mental health checkup of inmates was conducted, a severely mentally sick inmate Kedar who was bed ridden was excluded for reasons better known to the concerned officials. He was in very bad condition at that time and died in the same condition on 18th June, 2012 without having any mental health care. It was like a murder of an old disabled in very pathetic condition.

  3. Another inmate Hari Ram, who was deaf and physically disabled, had requested us on 25th March, 2012 to drop him at Junaga, Distt. Shimla so that after his death one person who was known to him could perform his cremation with religious rites. Then we came to know that proper cremation of inmates is not done after their death and all the inmates are under tremendous mental stress due to this. This is a gross violation of human rights. Ultimately, Hari Ram escaped from the Home on July 1, 2012 in mysterious circumstances and his whereabouts are still not known.
  4. I filed an application in the high court for the mental health care and shifting of severely mentally sick inmates to the mental hospital, if required, under an already pending PIL on mental health. The court ordered to shift three inmates to the mental hospital out of which one Krishna Devi was found to be a serious patient of T.B.
  5. It is surprising, the Department of SC, OBC and Minority Affairs never bothered to provide disability certificates to 16 inmates who are persons with disabilities/ multiple disabilities.
  6. For the last nearly two years, no director of the Department of SC, OBC and Minority Affairs bothered to visit the said Home despite the news appearing in the major news papers on 2nd April, 2012 and the matter was raised in the Vidhan Sabha on 5th April.
  7. The information sought by me under RTI Act, the said departments says that they have not designated any incharge of such homes at the directorate level, they did not give any guidelines for the smooth functioning of such homes and passed on the buck to the state social welfare board.
  8. Rs. 4,77,000/- only were released as grant in aid to that home by the said department in 2011-12 last year for the expenditure of about 20 inmates and the salary of employees where as Rs. 8 Lac were given in 2010-2011.
  9. The home lacks proper staff including one nurse and a permanent sweeper for twenty four hours.
  10. The staff of the home are given salary/ wages as per the wage board of 1996 and the government provides grant in aid to the State Social Welfare Board who runs the home as per the wage board report of 1986.
  11. You will be surprised to know that the staff of the home that are already underpaid, have not been paid their salaries for the last four months.

All the matters mentioned above are of serious nature and the human rights of poor inmates are still being violated and the officers of Department of SC, OBC and Minority Affairs have become just mute spectators. The said department can not escape from its legal responsibilities by saying that the home is not being run by them.

Therefore, I request you to order a judicial inquiry with in 15 days and take strict action against the officers of the said department. Otherwise, we will be compelled to file a PIL in the High Court of Himachal Pradesh for the same.

Thanking you.

Yours faithfully,

(Ajai Srivastava)


Umang Foundation, # 3, Himalaya Apartments, Kasumpti, Shimla – 171009

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  1. dear ajai srivastava this is really disgusting u r doing a great job god bless u and ur organisation

  2. I love your blog.. very nice
    colors & theme.Did you design this websitte yourself oor did you hire
    someone tto do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to

    design my own blog and would like to knjow where u got this from.

    appreciate it

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