By:Mohan Lal Verma
The High Court of Himachal Pradesh has directed the state government to establish a separate home for adult disabled shelter less and destitute persons within a period of one year. The court also asked the government to set up a separate home for the mentally retarded males and females within a period of one year from today.
A division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan passed these orders, taking cognizance of a letter written by Ajai Srivastava, Chairman of Umang Foundation wherein he had raised questions on the pathetic living conditions provided to the inmates at the old age home, Basantpur near Shimla.
The Court ordered the Principal Secretary (Social Justice and Empowerment) to release adequate funds for the construction of a separate home for adult disabled shelter less and destitute persons in the state and for the construction of a separate home for mentally retarded males and females within a period of eight weeks from today.
“The Director, Welfare, Himachal Pradesh is directed to visit the old age homes at Basantpur, Shimla, Dari, (Dharamshala), Bhangrotu (Mandi), Alleo (New Manali) every month to see if basic amenities are being provided to the inmates lodged therein. If not, the same be made available within a period of two weeks after visiting the home” the order said.
“The Chief Secretary, Himachal Pradesh Government, shall be personally responsible to implement and execute the directions made herein above, in letter and spirit” it said. The division bench placed on record its appreciation for the Umang Foundation in bringing the plight of old age homes in Himachal Pradesh to the notice of Court and awarded a prize costs of Rupees one lakh to Umang Foundation.