Social audit exposes shelter home squalor

The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) audit report on 110 shelter homes and specialised adoption agencies in Bihar has laid bare the squalid conditions in which the residents of these facilities stay, much like "chicken in a poultry farm" as a government official described it.

By Dev Raj in Patna
  • Published 19.08.18
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Patna: The Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) audit report on 110 shelter homes and specialised adoption agencies in Bihar has laid bare the squalid conditions in which the residents of these facilities stay, much like "chicken in a poultry farm" as a government official described it.

The TISS report, submitted to the government in April this year, led to the unmasking of the sexual abuse and rape of least 34 inmates at Muzaffarpur Balika Grih (short stay home for minor girls) and pointed to serious irregularities at many other such facilities.

The report, made public on Friday on the order of the Supreme Court, highlights the violence and mental harassment the girls and women were subjected to across the 110 institutions, with only a handful emerging unscathed.

These institutions include specialised adoption agencies, short stay homes for women, old age homes, rehabilitation centres for the destitute, and homes for children with mental ailments.

"Any sane person would weep at the squalor in which the inmates of shelter homes are kept. At many places they were housed just like chicken are kept at poultry farms with virtually no contact with the outside world," said a source in the social welfare department, tasked to look after these facilities. The source asserted that the TISS social audit report "was just the tip of the iceberg" of the rot that had set in such government and NGO-run facilities.

The report points out that institutions of all categories were found to be indulging in some form of abuse.