02 December 2010
By Ashish Tripathi
The home will be funded by the state government and services will be provided by the Drishti Samajik Sansthan (DSS), a non–government–organisation (NGO). The home has space for 50 destitute, with separate sections for girls and boys below 18 years.
The home has required expertise and techniques to help MR and multi–disabled acquire survival skills. The government will give Rs 2200 per destitute per month. A sum of Rs 3.6 lakh has been released as the first instalment.
People can contact the home directly if they come across MR or multi–disabled destitute below 18 years. "If successful, the concept can be extended to other districts," said director, disabled welfare, AK Dwivedi.
However, he said, the mandate of the disabled welfare department is only to provide training and education to the disabled and running shelter homes fall in the domain of the women and child welfare department and the social welfare department.
At present, destitute children with disability are kept in the orphanages for ‘ordinary children’ where there is nothing to help learn survival skills. As a result, they lead a miserable life.
The issue got prominence after Rinku, a 5–year–old multi–disabled boy, who was blind, partially deaf and mentally retarded, was found abandoned at the Charbagh railway station in 2008. He was saved by an NGO but homes run by the government and other NGOs refused to admit him.
The boy initially got shelter in Shishu Grih at Prag Narain Road and later was adopted by the Drishti Samajik Sansthan. Rinku could not even stand and speak but within six months he learnt to communicate and support himself.
On August 15, 2009, he walked into the Raj Bhawan to take part in a function and shook hands with the governor. Rinku’s case shook the conscience of many. The high court took serious view of the lapse and directed the government to arrange shelter homes.
Vinod Chandra, member Child Welfare Committee, Lucknow, said the move of the state government to run a shelter home for MR destitute in partnership with an NGO is a welcome step but the state and the city needs more disability specific shelter homes for visually and physically challenged child destitute, particularly in the light of the fact that abandonment of babies born with disability by parents has increased sharply in last couple of years.
- There are an estimated one lakh mentally retarded and 26,000 multi–disabled children in the state, of whom 10% are destitute.
- A survey has revealed that on an average, every city in the state has around 40 mentally retarded adult destitute on the streets.
- Barring a few NGOs, a group of policemen has been working to provide medical treatment and shelter to such destitute.
- Over 30 disabled destitute, including around 32 with mental disability, have been found abandoned in the city this year.
- While a shelter home for children has been started, there is no government supported home for mentally retarded ‘adult’ destitute