NGOs kick-off drive to provide shelter to road-siders


Non Government Organization Umang today launched a drive in the State to bring back smiles on the faces of hundreds of shelter-less mentally ill persons living by roadsides in miserable conditions. Addressing the media here today convener of Umang Ajai Srivastava said that he decided to kick-off the campaign inspiring from cause raised by few people in social media.


He stressed the need to identify these voiceless men and women, mostly hailing from outside of this hill state who are living under the open sky. He said that the drive would soon get momentum as the NGO immediately raise the issue with the concerned district authorities to take cognizance of helpless mentally ill, destitute and vagabonds who often need care under Mental Health Act, 1987 and psychiatric treatments.


He observed that unfortunately the response from the police and administration was poor as the latter were negligent towards these people. The NGO also wrote letter to the State Chief Secretary V.C. Pharka as the State is duty-bound to protect legal and human rights of shelter-less mentally ill people. He said that drive had launched state-wide with the help of local NGOs to locate such needy people. The State had been asked to increase the intake capacity of State Mental Hospital to accommodate more patients.


A sensitization program about Mental Health Act should also be started at all levels in the police department. He alleged that when NGO sought action from the police and administration of Sirmour district where two mentally ill women were living without shelter in Paonta Sahib town however despite writing letters to the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police nothing happened to rescue the women. The women are still living there in pathetic conditions. He said that similarly DC and SP Shimla did not rescue a man. Similar letter were written by the NGO to DC and SP of Kullu, Solan and Bilaspur to take appropriate action.

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ML Verma is a Senior journalist, with more than a decade of experience of active reporting for electronic media, news agencies and fast paced online media.

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