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Shifting of mentally challenged women from RS Pura to Jammu takes new turn
Hospital authorities claim one fled, another doesn't require treatment
4/9/2020 11:49:03 PM
Early Times Report
jammu, Apr 9: Shifting of four mentally challenged women from RS Pura to Psychiatric Hospital Jammu on the directions of Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) has taken a new twist.
The hospital authorities are claiming that one woman fled the hospital and another doesn't need any treatment.
In view of the new developments, the SDM has sought report from Social Welfare Department (SWD) about facilities provided to mentally challenged destitute people. He has also directed the Sub Divisional Police Officer to look into the allegations leveled by a social worker.
Pertinently, Early Times in its edition of April 6 had carried a story titled, "Amid COVID-19 lockdown, lives of mentally challenged destitute turns more pathetic. Psychiatric Hospital Jammu expresses reluctance to admit 4 patients". The Psychiatric hospital authorities had claimed that the SDM was not competent while a Judicial Magistrate could order shifting as per amended Mental Health Act.
As per latest developments in the case, the Human Rights Activist Om Parkash Khajuria, who has been pursuing the case of mentally challenged destitute women, had taken up the matter with Secretary District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) Jammu, who directed the SDM RS Pura to investigate the allegations, which were serious in nature. The allegations read, "One of the women (mentally challenged destitute) has become pregnant due to the activities of some anti-social elements while other women are being sexually victimised".
Though as asked by Psychiatric hospital authorities, an order from Judicial Magistrate was secured by the social worker on 6/4/2020 but in the meantime, the Psychiatric hospital had forwarded two communiqué to SDM RS Pura about the mentally challenged women admitted there. One such communiqué number MCM/15864 dated 05/04/2020, is about medical examination of 45 year old victim. Though it was claimed in the medical report that patient does not require hospitalization at present and should be kept in any facility for homeless person, where she can stay along with her minor daughter. However the hospital also failed to find out the name woman's husband or her residence.
However another communiqué vide MCM/15863 dated 6/04/2020, was about another woman. As per report, the woman absconded from the hospital without informing the staff, which put a big question mark over the security in the hospital. Moreover the communiqué further claimed that as per telephonic conversation, the woman has reached home and her guardians are willing for OPD treatment.
But the Human rights activist Om Parkash Khajuria questioned the claims, saying that it was strange that a mentally challenged destitute woman reached her home from Jammu, when public transport was off the roads.
Moreover, taking cognizance of the letter from Secretary DLSA, SDM RS Pura has shot a letter to District Social Welfare Officer Jammu, asking to furnish details of the facility, where mentally challenged destitute could be given shelter. Another letter has been forwarded to SDPO R S Pura to investigate the allegations mentioned in the letter of Secretary and submit the report within five days.
As the issue has been entangled in legal hurdles, a moot question remains, whether the Mental Health Act, which guaranteed a dignified life to the mentally challenged people would be implemented or not, asked Om Parkash Khajuria. "It's the responsibility of the people at the helm to take care of such patients but it's unfortunate that they have been ignored as if they are the children of lesser God," he added.
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