Lack of safety, poor infra irk panel chief

Nagalakshmi Bai, Chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Women. DH PHOTO/S K Dinesh

A severe shortage of staff and abysmal securities are just two concerns to name at the state home and Swekara Kendra. When the chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Women, Nagalakshmi Bai made a surprise visit to the centre on Wednesday, she was appalled by the conditions for the women residing here.

Speaking to DH, she said: "I visited the centre without any prior complaints. The state home has 85 members, of which two have been hospitalised. One of them has cancer, and the other is in Nimhans for psychiatric ailments," she said.

Most women at the state home have been suffering from psychiatric illness for which they are being treated, according to Bai.

"The centre is housed in between a lot of bush. The approach way to this place is very deserted, and especially during the night, there is no safety for those walking the path. Being a centre that houses so many women, it is of high risk," she said, adding that CCTV cameras were non-functional.

She said the centre had just eight sanctioned staff and most of these posts, including D group workers and technicians, are vacant.

"Although someone has been appointed temporarily, their work is not satisfactory," said Bai.

Similar are the shortcomings at the Swekara Kendra. Previously, the centre was infamous for women going missing. The number of women has come down from 400 to just 18.

"Out of nine posts for staff, only four are filled. The buildings are very old, and due to rains, there is the formation of fungus. This has an impact on the health of women," she said. The chairperson said she would bring the issue to the notice of the ministers concerned. 

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