Kejriwal orders PROBE into Asha Kiran Home lapses

New Delhi: The deplorable conditions at the Asha Kiran Home for the mentally challenged where 11 inmates have died over the past two months saw the opposition BJP and Congress attack the AAP government on Monday even as Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal ordered the Chief Secretary to file a report on the lapses.
The BJP said that Kejriwal cannot escape “moral and legal responsibility for mismanagement” of Asha Kiran Home by shifting responsibility to bureaucrats, while the Congress party said the Aam Aadmi Party government had “undone” its work for the mentally challenged.
In an official note to Delhi Chief Secretary M M Kutty, Kejriwal ordered him to file a report by February 13 and to “personally ensure” that the situation is rectified within a week.
Kejriwal’s directions came a day after Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal paid a surprise visit to the Asha Kiran Home and found deplorable conditions that had led to the death of 11 inmates.
Maliwal noted over-crowding with up to four patients on a single bed, women inmates made to remove clothes in the open while queueing up for bath and walking naked in the corridors, and CCTV cameras being monitored by male staff. She also observed stinking rooms, filthy toilets and excreta and urine in the corridors.
Expressing shock, Kejriwal wrote that he was “extremely disturbed” by the reports.
“Chief Secretary should personally ensure that all these deficiencies are removed within a week to the satisfaction of DCW,” he ordered.
He also ordered Kutty to submit a report by Monday evening on how many times the Secretary of Social Welfare and Women and Child Development Departments, Dilraj Kaur, visited the Asha Kiran Home and two other homes for mentally challenged in the past.
The Chief Minister also asked why the official did not bring the reports of deaths to the notice of the government.
“What steps did she take when each death was brought to her notice? What steps did she take to prevent these serious lapses?” Kejriwal asked.
Responding in the matter, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta accused Kejriwal of “cunningly shifting” the responsibility from politicians to bureaucracy.
Referring to the order of the Chief Minister to Chief Secretary, Gupta said: “It speaks of callous behaviour of the Chief Minister that he asked the Chief Secretary to report about visits of the Secretary to the home and why deaths were not brought to the notice of the government.”
“It appears that the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister by themselves owe no responsibility to run the home,” Gupta added. — IANS