The Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission has issued directions to the state government to form an expert committee that would monitor the management of the Mankhurd shelter home. The move comes in the backdrop of complaints that the shelter is in poor condition and that salaries of staff are not being paid on time. At least 51 children and staffers have tested positive for Covid-19 at the shelter home since July.
The Mankhurd Bal Sudhar Kendra for specially-abled and mentally handicapped children is run by
Children Aid Society. In July, 31 children were hospitalised after contracting Covid-19 and several others were kept in isolation in the shelter home. BJP’s former MP Kirit Somaiya and Dinesh Panchal filed a complaint with the state human rights commission stating that the home was suffering from paucity of funds, staff was not paid on time, and the diet of children was not maintained well.
In response, the shelter home had stated that the children had possibly come in contact with an outsider who transmitted the virus. Close contact within the home led to transmission to 51 staffers and children.
The human rights commission has directed the Women and Child Development department minister to head the expert committee to monitor the home and keep “strict vigil on safety of children”. The commission, headed by MA Sayeed, directed the WCD department and Finance department to release funds for the home, including salary of staffers. “Also ensure timely release of future salary,” the commission’s order on Thursday said.
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