news Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute| July 3, 2014| 6.00 pm IST The two member panel probing into several allegations levelled against Akshaya Trust Home in Madurai submitted their third and final report to the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court. The panel has raised serious questions about the way the home is functioning. Background to the story: The Trust is run by Narayanan Krishnan, a well known social activist who was selected as one of the top 10 ‘heroes’ of the year by American news channel CNN. Last month, a female inmate from the trust’s home ran away. She later told the police that she and other inmates had been physically and sexually abused in Akshaya Home. Following this, The All Indian Democratic Women Association (AIDWA) filed a Public Interest Litigation against the Trust alleging several serious charges of wrongdoing by the Trust authorities. Some of the allegations include: bringing and keeping inmates in the house against their will, poor living conditions of inmates, the death of 120 inmates in the past one year and sudden disappearances of 60 inmates.  The findings of the third report A two-member panel went to inspect the Home on 26 June, 2014 and recorded 467 out of 537 inmates. The report says that of this at least 135 inmates are fully normal, though the home is meant only for mentally ill patients according to its licence.  Akshaya home is registered under Section 52 of Persons with disabilities Act 1995 and under the Tamilnadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill Persons Rules 2002. The report also notes that many people have been held against their will and want to leave. It states, "Many inmates speak clearly, coherently and with a clear statement that they were lifted forcibly and detained against their wishes, demand that they should be allowed to go." The report also says that, "The law mandates that a Psychiatrist should certify that the person referred is a mentally ill person who requires only maintenance, medication and rehabilitation measures. There is no such certification for any of the mentally ill person as per this rule in the Home." And there were no records maintained about the dates and time of the visit of the Psychiatrist. The probe report says that Akshaya home is picking up people from the streets on its own, without the consent of the individual who is being picked up or lifted. The report asks who appointed Akshaya Home as a self styled destitute rescue mission, " It is not clear on what basis the Managing Trustee and their staff come to the conclusion that people on the streets should be lifted to their Home or that a particular person is mentally ill or mentally retarded or a destitute." This report too talks about the disappearance of 63 inmates in the last year- "On the people who allegedly escaped from the home, the home is not providing the particulars of the people who are brought inside the home to anybody."
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