An inspection of NGO Asha Dham Ashram of Udaipur by the officials of District Legal Service Authority conducted on Tuesday has discovered glaring irregularities including unavailability of proper infrastructure facilities,unhygienic condition and even the people were kept hostages in dark rooms on the name of their treatment.
Following the orders of the Rajasthan state Legal Services Authority the president of District Legal Service Authority Ravindra Kumar Maheshwari, Secretary Ridhima Sharma and Chief Judicial Magistrate Brijesh Rawat carried a sudden inspection at Asha Dham Ashram located at Mullatalai area of thr city,Dr.Sushil Kherada,Psychiatrist and Head of Mental department of M.B hospital of Udaipur also remained present with them during the inspection.
Ravindra Kumar Maheshwari told DU that the NGO is permitted to operate 4 units, each unit should have 33 staff members and should have a total of 132 staff members but only 12 of them were found during the inspection, the facility is having darkness allover with untidy rooms,8 lock ups were also found constructed near the toilet in which 4 women and 4 men were lodged in them separately.
The Asha Dham Ashram works for the rescue and rehabilitation of distressed destitute but during its inspection Dr. Kharadi discovered that many of the women among those kept there were behaving normal and even shared the name, adresses and contact numbers of their relatives,they informed the team they were kept hostages at the Ashram among the mentally ill people from a long time, Maheshwari added.
Besides that it was also found that the in-charge of the organization Sister Demien has kept 25 cows inside the premise and the staff members in-stead taking care of the people remain engaged looking after the cows,moreover it was also found that the milk produced by those cows was also not used for the people staying there at the facility but allegedly sold in the market, Maheshwari added.
Maheshwari further said that the NGO was also found overcrowded as it is having a capacity to accommodate 200 people but around 290 people are accomodating there with shortage of beds following which they have to sleep either in the bathrooms or in the gallaries of the building.
A government doctor use to visit the NGO every weekend and leave after marking attendence in the register kept inside but the in-charge herself is not aware that with whom’s order he is visiting the NGO, when the in-charge of the NGO Sister Damien was questioned about the doctor’s regular visits and examining any mentally ill person living there she cannot give a satisfactory answer or cannot produce any supporting document, Maheshwari said.
Apart from that it was also found the severly ill people often use to stay toghter with those that are having normal nental status.
Another shocking fact that came to forth during the inspection was that most of the distressed women are staying at the facility from over 3 years as they belong to different states of the country and the nobody at the NGO can understand their language and can contact their relatives.
Following inspection District and Sessions Judge and President of District Legal Serive Authority Ravindra Kumar Maheshwari directed its Secretary Ridhima Sharma to write a letter to Ravindra Nath Tagore Medical (RNT) College to form a medical board for the medical examination of the people staying at Asha Dham Ashram,to get the medical certificates issued for the distressed people and those who will not be found with any medical illness should be shifted to other shelter homes.
Soon a reprt will be made and will presented in front of the High Court,Maheshwari said.