NEW DELHI: People with mental illness have the right to live with dignity and it is an issue of their human rights, Justice AK Sikri of the Supreme Court said on Saturday voicing concerns with regard to the rights of persons suffering from mental illness.
He was speaking at a seminar in the city to examine the extent of the plight of homeless people suffering from mental illnesses, the existing models of care available and the strategies that can be scaled up to care for such people. Sikri said authorities are responsible for depriving such people of their right to live with dignity.
Citing an incident of an asylum in Uttar Pradesh where people with mental illness were chained, Sikri said, “This is not just about the legal rights of mentally ill people. This is also about their basic human rights, as they are not being provided with an environment to live with dignity. They have the right to live like any other person.”
The objectives of the seminar included assessment of the magnitude and nature of problem, to document and compile the initiatives being taken in this area, to identify the practices that can be replicated for delivering services, and to identify possible strategies and mechanisms for program implementation and monitoring.
“The mental disorder largely stems from greed and this is one area we need to work on,” Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.