Rape at shelter makes DUSIB sit up

Two days after a child was raped by a worker at a night shelter, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board has finally woken up to the complaints against shelter management agencies.

NGOs working for the homeless said complaints are filed against the shelter management agencies (SMAs) on a daily basis, but the DUSIB – the government body in charge of shelters for the homeless – has been slack in acting on them. Referring to the recent rape case, sources said the accused had earlier too tried to molest the six-year-old girl at a family shelter home near Bangla Sahib Gurdwara.

The DUSIB said the complaints against the SMAs will not go unnoticed from now onwards.
“We have formed a team to look into the complaints against all the SMAs and take appropriate action,” said a senior DUSIB official.

“We have formed nine files for all the SMAs and we are going to attach the copy of complaints against the shelter homes concerned. It will help us monitor the activities of the SMAs,” he added.

According to the DUSIB, an SMA will be fined Rs 1,000 for the first complaint, Rs 3,000 for the second similar complaint and Rs 5,000 for the third complaint of the similar nature. “After that, the contract of the SMA will be terminated,” the official said.
The DUSIB has not been monitoring the activities of the SMAs set up over eight months ago.

According to the guidelines, a monitoring agency comprising DUSIB officials was supposed to carry out inspections of the work done by the SMAs. Also, a review meeting was to be carried out within six months of the launch of SMAs.

But the DUSIB has not conducted any review meeting so far. Asked about the monitoring of the SMAs, the official said the DUSIB will ask the beat constables to make rounds of the shelter homes in their areas.

“Also, teams have been constituted for daily monitoring of the shelter homes,” he added.
In December last, an SMA was set to run over 20 shelter homes on a pilot basis. Currently, there are nine SMAs running over 205 shelter homes across the city.

Before the inception of the SMAs, some 45 NGOs used to run the shelter homes in the city.

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