Two shelter homes for destitute pregnant women: Delhi govt

Delhi government said it has identified two shelter homes for destitute pregnant and lactating women for their care and upkeep.

New Delhi: The Delhi government on Wednesday said it has identified two shelter homes for destitute pregnant and lactating women for their care and upkeep.

Appearing before a Delhi High Court`s division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Standing counsel Najmi Waziri submitted that two community centres—one in Kalkaji and other in Jahangirpuri--have been identified for the shelter homes for those destitute women who deliver the child on the footpath.

The government would take some time to provide infrastructure in the homes, the lawyer said adding two NGOs All India Womens` Conference(AIWC) and Young Womens` Christian Association were assigned to draw up criteria to admit such women and the period of their stay in the homes.
He said the government has taken the decision in consultation with Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board and the Department of Women and Child Development.

Responding to the submissions, the bench directed the government to either appoint any person or agency to co-ordinate between the two homes.

The court had last week directed the authorities to earmark at least two shelter homes equipped with medical facilities to cater to destitute pregnant women.
The direction had came following a report filed by an amicus curiae, appointed by the court, who had visited the city`s few shelter homes run by NGOs. According to the report, he was told that they were not keen to provide shelter to destitute pregnant women as they only rehabilitated destitute women.

The report said the existing shelter homes did not get any fund from the government and no home had been earmarked by it to take care of destitute pregnant women.

The court has initiated suo-motu action on the basis of the newspaper reports that a woman died on the pavement after giving birth to a child due to lack of medical care on July 26, last year.

The woman was found lying in a pool of dirty rainwater at Shankar Market in posh Connaught Place area after giving birth to a baby girl.

With the intervention of the court, the child is in the custody of an NGO and a woman boutique owner, who had rescued the child, was asked to visit the baby fortnightly.

The court had expressed concern over the incident taking place despite various welfare schemes of the government for the poor people.


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