By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 16: Imagine a home for differently- abled inmates being a cubbyhole!
Destination, a home for the differently- abled people, is located at Kahilipara in the city. It is supported by State Social Welfare department. Over ten years since its inception, it operates in two branches – The Home for Mentally Challenged’ and Children’s Home – as the respective signboards of the homes read. Both the branches together house 87 differently- abled persons.
The two-storeyed home for mentally challenged gives shelter to 29 girls and 28 boys in eight rooms. “Parents, police, children welfare committees (CWCs) and Social Welfare Department refer differently- abled people to us. Now, we are running short of space here. The male inmates are accommodated somehow, but it is impossible to accommodate female inmates. The situation is grim as a few children have been referred to this home recently by the CWC,” Destination president Minakshi Sangma said.
Destination Children Home is being operated from a rented house at Kahilipara. The condition has gone haywire as the landlord asking the authorities to vacate the house. It houses 17 male and 14 female inmates in seven rooms.
“The children home has been running on rent, and we are running out of space here too. Water scarcity is the major problem here. We have only a pair of bathroom and latrine facility. It is nearly impossible for the inmates to keep cool. They don’t sleep at night roaming around the house creating trouble for the neighbours and the landlord. The landlord recently complained of ruined condition of the walls of the house and littering in around the campus. We are looking out for another house but haven’t really found one,” Sangma added.
Destination is running short of funds. Currently Destination has 32 staff members in total, which has been inadequate. Recruitment of new staff members have come to halt as the required remuneration is minimum Rs 15,000. Sources also said that medicines could not be provided to the inmates due to shortage of funds. The authorities of Destination have urged the State government to take a serious note of the situation for the sake of the differently abled.