HYDERABAD: In the backdrop of an incident, wherein a mentally-challenged woman was found naked and chained at a ‘Home for the Disabled’ at Aramghar in Hyderabad a few months ago, state government has come up with some strict measures to protect the mentally-challenged persons in accordance with various Acts.If any mentally-challenged person is neglected by his or her family, cases will be filed against such families. Government issued orders in this regard.
The government has also given instructions for forming survey teams at all levels to identify mentally-challenged persons, who are not involved in any crime and yet suffer harassment, neglect or deprivation at the hands of their family or seen roaming about in public without any one taking their responsibility. Besides providing counselling to such families, the teams will take steps to file cases in against harassment of mentally-challenged persons. The teams, then, will admit them to special schools and homes. This decision has been taken as per HC’s directive. Further, the department of women, children, disabled & senior citizens has issued some guidelines on constitution of committees at all levels for identification of mentally-challenged persons.
It will be headed by the sarpanch. Its main duty is to conduct survey and identify mentally-challenged persons who are neglected by their families in that particular village.
It will be headed by mandal parishad development officer. Its duty is to identify mentally-challenged persons who suffer harassment at the hands of their family. It will file cases against such harassment, and admit such persons to special schools and homes run by NGOs.
It will be headed by district collector. It will empanel NGOs for providing care and rehabilitation to mentally-challenged persons under Garunda, Samarth and Vikas schemes under the National Trust for Welfare of Persons with Autism Act, 1999.
DLSA to monitor
Whenever any mentally challenged person is referred to a hospital, District Legal Services Authority concerned will have to monitor the progress of the treatment. The authority will also monitor whether cured persons are reunited with their family or facing any harassment or discrimination. If any such cases are noticed, it will take steps like conducting counselling for family to protect the rights of the mentally-challenged.