Volume 6 Issue 8 - October 01, 2009
“Government systems are not equipped,
Ram Niwas, Home Secretary, Chandigarh
A 19 year old orphaned mentally retarded girl is raped at a government run shelter home in Chandigarh and gets pregnant. Barely 2 months before the delivery and a month after the Supreme Court judgement putting the onus on the State, Chandigarh administration is asking the National Trust ‘Whose baby is it?’. Dorodi Sharma of D.N.I.S. went to Chandigarh with the National Trust’s Sub – Committee members. Here are excerpts from the discussion between the Sub – Committee and Home Secretary of Chandigarh, Ram Niwas.
What was the major issue concerning the pregnancy?
Ram Niwas: We went to Court for termination of the pregnancy because we were concerned with the future of the child. The girl in question has an intellectual age of a 9 year old and cannot take care of the baby. It was only after the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities stepped in with an affidavit saying that they are willing to take care of the child that the Supreme Court upheld the girl’s right to motherhood. We have been taking good care of the girl till now and want the National Trust to take over the responsibility as they promised.
In the September 22 meeting convened in New Delhi by the National Trust, it was decided that the major concern for the girl at this point of time is nutrition, prenatal care and training for motherhood and to move her to Bangalore just for that makes no sense. Is the Chandigarh administration not equipped to provide these basic facilities?
Ram Niwas: Chandigarh has the best of infrastructure. We have been providing the best of care and nutrition to the girl. We are committed to providing her with all required medical and other facilities till childbirth. But what we have been maintaining since before is that we cannot be a surrogate mother.
But isn’t it the responsibility of the government to take care of the mother as well as the child?
Ram Niwas: Government systems are not equipped to handle such situations. There is no security in our shelter homes. Had the government been doing what it should be doing, the girl wouldn’t have been raped in the first place!
Ashreya (the shelter home where the girl is staying) has only 14 resident inmates and more than enough staff. Then why is not possible to keep her here?
Ram Niwas: The attrition rate in our shelter homes is very high. There is full attendance only when there is a scheduled visit. When I come for surprise visits, it is a totally different picture. This place does not even have a Warden.
So what will be the future course of action?
Ram Niwas: The ultimate authority rests with General (Retd.) S.F. Rodrigues, Governor of Punjab who is also the Administrator of Chandigarh. Whatever is his decision will be communicated to the National Trust. We will present our points to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on October 12.
DNIS is produced and managed by:
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People
Screening Guidelines to be followed by CISF Security Staff for Passengers with Disabilities at Indian Airports
Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill
Mental Health Care Bill
CRPD Monitoring Report
- List of Awardees 2015 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (2.7 MB)
- List of Awardees 2014 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (1 MB)
- List of Awardees 2013 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (1.44 MB)
- List of Awardees 2012 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (804 KB)
- List of Awardees 2011 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (864 KB)
- List of Awardees 2010 :NCPEDP MPHASIS Universal Design Awards (623 KB)
SHELL HELEN KELLER AWARDS
NCPEDP-Shell Helen Keller Awardees 2013
- “Government systems are not equipped,
- India ratifies U.N.C.R.P.D. and then forgets!
- Finally, R.T.E. Act to be amended to include all disabilities
- Hush hush appointment of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities
- International Day of the Deaf celebrated
- Amendment or New Law? National Consultation to take the debate further
- ‘Right to Read’ : Visually impaired people demand a change in the Copyright Act
- Draft Amendments to the National Trust Act released
- Pay up, Supreme Court tells banks!
- Right to drive for hearing impaired people - Delhi High court to decide soon
- Delhi High Court directs Delhi government to appoint special educators
Disability News and Information Service is produced and managed by: