KOZHIKODE: They may be residing on the same premises but owing to segregation, inmates of government-run shelter homes rarely get a chance to interact with each other. That scenario is all set to undergo a transformation once the concept of ‘integrated care home’ becomes a reality.
The Department of Social Justice has mooted the proposal to ensure social inclusion and has also chalked out various programmes to make the inmates mentally and physically active and also enable them earn a livelihood. Social Justice Minister K K Shylaja told Express it was high time that the state embraced the novel concept of ‘integrated care homes’.
“Gone are the days when a care home just meant a place that provides food, clothing and shelter. We also need to ensure the mental and physical well-being of the inmates and boost their self-esteem. They should at no point feel isolated or segregated,” the minister said. She added that the proposal would be put to further discussions at the top level before being implemented.
According to Social Justice Secretary Biju Prabhakar, the care home complex at Vellimadukunnu in Kozhikode will be the location where the integrated care home concept will be tried out for the first time in the state. Around 19 shelter homes are located in the 24-acre sprawling campus which provide shelter to children, adolescents, women, the destitute and the elderly.
“Socialisation among the inmates would help them overcome the feeling of loneliness or abandonment. Imagine the joy that an elderly resident of a care home could get just by seeing children playing around and interacting with them. Besides, a close-knit community environment will also ensure bonding and help a lot in the mental well being of the inmate,” he said.
Gender Park chief executive officer R Nishanthini has been entrusted with preparing a plan of action for the structural integration of various care homes. “At present, some care homes lack staff while others face shortage of inmates. By integrating the care homes, optimum use of resources and staff can also be ensured,” Nishanthini said.
The inmates of care homes will also be provided vocational training and income-generating avenues. This would keep them occupied and also their boost self-confidence, she said.Once successful, the Kozhikode model will be replicated across the state, she added.
Handle with CARE
There are 70 plus government-run care homes in the state
Most of the care homes are located on the same premises
Integration aimed at ensuring the well-being of inmates
Pilot project to be implemented in Kozhikode
Vocational training and income generation also planned