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  Metros   Delhi  06 Jan 2017  Private parts of inmates checked in beggar home, says Swati Maliwal

Private parts of inmates checked in beggar home, says Swati Maliwal

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 6, 2017, 2:11 am IST
Updated : Jan 6, 2017, 6:31 am IST

According to the DCW, Ms Maliwal met an Uzbek woman at the home who alleged molestation by an FRRO officer.

Swati Maliwal
 Swati Maliwal

New Delhi: The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), on Thursday, issued a notice to the Delhi government over the “horrific” conditions at a beggar home where the inmates, including foreigners, have alleged violation of basic human rights and racial discrimination, as it sought to know how the foreign nationals landed there.

DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal, who conducted a surprise inspection Wednesday night at the beggar home in Nirmal Chhaya Complex along with her staff, alleged that extreme violations of human rights were discovered where private parts of women were “physically checked” amongst others. The secretary of the social welfare department of the Delhi government has been directed to file a detailed response to the commission within 72 hours.

 

“The commission is deeply perturbed at the sorry state of affairs at the beggar home. The commission is of the view that the inmates who are foreign nationals have been denied their basic human rights in the home. It deeply pained us when they stated that they were victims of racism and were being discriminated against on account of being African Blacks. This is a very serious issue,” Ms Maliwal said in the notice issued to the social welfare department.

The women’s body has also issued a notice to the foreigner regional registration office (FRRO) seeking to know why the foreign women were housed in the ‘beggar home’ and sought a status report on each inmate — reasons for detention, reasons behind inmates not being provided access to embassies and legal aid, among others. The FRRO’s reply has also been sought within 72 hours.

 

According to the DCW, Ms Maliwal met an Uzbek woman at the home who alleged molestation by an FRRO officer.

She received her complaint last night and has forwarded it to the FRRO and has sought action within three days. According to another DCW notice sent to the Delhi police commissioner, Alok Kumar Verma, the woman, who has been in the home since December 15, 2016, has alleged that she was “sexually assaulted” by a police officer posted in the FRRO prior to her arrival at the home.

The DCW has sought an action-taken report from the police commissioner in the matter within 72 hours. In her notice, Ms Maliwal said that there were 15 women and two children, all foreign nationals, who were detained for having overstayed their visas in India for different reasons. During the inspection, the commission observed “several gross violations” of human rights.

 

The women complained of not being allowed to make a single phone call to their families or embassies due to which they have not been able to contact or seek assistance from their embassies in order to get financial as well as legal help, DCW said in the notice.

DCW was informed that two women, one from Uzbekistan and the other from Kenya, have had only one pair of clothes for 22 days and 12 days, respectively. They stated that they did not even have a change of undergarments and were suffering terribly.

“The commission was horrified to learn that proper medical assistance had not been provided to pregnant ladies. A female national of Nigeria has been in the home since December 26 with two babies and triplets in her womb.

 

“She has been allegedly complaining since the past ten days to the staff that she is no longer feeling any movement in her womb. However, she alleged that no action has been taken to help her. She stated that she begged the staff to allow her to call her doctor but she was denied the same. The pregnant ladies are finding it very difficult to deal with the lack of medication and proper food,” the statement said.

DCW has also written to the superintendent of the home to ensure immediate proper medical treatment of the pregnant lady from Nigeria and the woman from Kenya. The commission has been coordinating with the superintendent since morning, who has informed that the pregnant lady has been taken to the hospital.

 

The commission said it has also learnt from the inmates that their private parts are “physically checked” by the caretaker before allowing them entry into the home. When asked, the caretaker on duty agreed to the same being done in the home.

DCW said it was informed that the beggar home shares its kitchen with the home for the mentally challenged, whose women inmates usually assist in the preparation of food as there is only one cook and one assistant in the complex dealing with over 80 women.

The inmates claimed that the food prepared by the mentally challenged people was “extremely unhygienic,” the statement said.

The commission further found that the toilets were in bad condition and dirty. “We noticed that despite five toilet seats, only two were available for the inmates for use as one of those was not working, one was strangely marked ‘HIV’ which no one was using out of stigma and fear, and one was locked for the staff,” DCW said.

 

The women alleged that several people fleeced them of their money in the name of helping them out.

Tags: human rights, delhi commission for women (dcw), swati maliwal