If only CM had visited earlier

Beggargate: Inmates given bath, women get new sarees, clean sheets for dorms

If only CM had visited earlier

The Chief Minister’s visit on Saturday triggered off a spate of plans, starting from the long required bath for inmates at the Centre.

Woman were given new standard issue blue sarees, while the men wore new khakhi shirts and shorts. Dormitories sported smartly dressed medical and paramedical staff complete with beds, clean sheets and glucose bottles.

The bleach was everywhere, overpowering but only partially managing to hide the stench present only the day before. Still, the inmates have not stopped dying as one person just keeled over and died on Friday night, while another died at Bowring Hospital on Saturday. Two more have been hospitalised.

The Chief Minister on his part, accompanied by newly appointed Social Welfare Minister Govind Karjol, remained quite stoic as he visited dormitories and the kitchen. At one point, annoyed with the locked rooms at the dormitories, he had the officials open the rooms and inspected even the blankets and mats.

10 paramedical staff

Speaking to the media later, the Chief Minister promised that the facilities would be improved immediately. He also promised to visit the site a month later to inspect the changes. Admitting that the conditions were subhuman at the Colony, Yeddyurappa promised four doctors and 10 paramedical staff would be pressed into service immediately.  

A psychiatrist would be appointed to attend on inmates with psychiatric problems. All inmates would get three pairs of clothes per year.

In what must be frightening news for the many who ran away, the Chief Minister plans to bring them back to the Colony. He argued that the fugitives had been encouraged to run away, although they had nowhere to go.

But he also encouraged several beggars that he interacted with to leave if they wanted to and even promised them bus charge for travel. He also invited interested NGOs to come forward to provide healthy food for the inmates.

From other states

Karjol said more people from other States had found shelter in the centre than the local. About 500 belong to Karnataka, 825 of Tamil Nadu, 625 of Andhra Pradesh, 62 each from Rajasthan and Maharashtra, 125 each from Uttar Pradesh and Kerala had been staying in the centre. The government would consult the other States concerned for sending them back.

The minister said he had instructed Deputy Commissioners to visit the 14 regional centres meant for beggars’ rehabilitation and review the facilities meant for the inmates. Construction of 32 toilets and 16 bathrooms would begin on Sunday.

Rs 750 a month

A source said that while the inmates of Social Welfare Department hostels get an allowance of Rs 750 a month for food, an inmate at the Beggars’ Rehabilitation Centre get Rs 1,430 a month.

The students are fed three times a day while the inmates at the rehabilitation centres do not get even a  square meal a day.

Sources also said the Chief Minister this morning held talks with a representative of Cadambams, a rehabilitation centre in Bangalore, to know how the beggars’ relief centre could be managed efficiently. The Bangalore centre can accommodate only 900 persons whereas 2,500 people have been allowed to reside in it.

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