Shift mentally ill from vagrants’ homes: WBHRC

225 inmates found in six shelters
The West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC) has learnt that a number of people suffering from mental illness have been placed in vagrants’ homes run by the State government, and has recommended that they be provided medical intervention.
In its recommendation, the WBHRC directed the West Bengal government that before applying the provisions of the Bengal Vagrancy Act, 1943, the State must, “ascertain if the person concerned is a mental patient,” and in case he or she has mental ailments, the person must be produced before doctors.
“Only after being satisfied that the person is not a mental patient, an application under the provisions of the Bengal Vagrancy Act should be made before the learned Magistrate,” the WBHRC said. The Commission found that 225 inmates with mental health issues had been lodged in six vagrant homes across the State. The WBHRC pointed out that placing people with mental health issues in vagrants’ homes led to overcrowding there. The Commission, headed by Justice Girish Chandra Gupta (retd.), also recommended that the homes’ authorities should hold “regular interactions with the inmates to find out their names and the particulars of their family members so that they could be reunited with their families.” Efforts should be made to find out their details so that they can be reunited with their families
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