The West Bengal Human Rights Commission on Friday expressed concern over the “inhuman” living conditions of inmates of a State-run home for vagrants in the city and sought an inquiry into deaths reported from there.
Taking note of reports that 96 inmates of the home died in 2012, the Commission directed the Principal Secretary of the Social Welfare Department to probe into the deaths and the living condition of inmates.
“The Commission has directed the Principal Secretary to conduct an inquiry by a senior and responsible officer and submit the report within three weeks,” Sujay Halder, the Commission’s joint secretary, told The Hindu .
Mr. Halder said the Commission was also concerned about the living conditions of the inmates. “There are reports that about 226 inmates of the home are living in a very small facility,” he added.
According to reports, most of the deaths in the home located in Dhakuria in the south of the city occurred because of malnutrition and absence of proper treatment.
The plight of destitute people and vagrants living in such homes came to the fore when the body of a 32-year-old mentally deranged woman was exhumed from the premises of a home in Hooghly district in July 2012.
According to the 2011 census, there are about 70,000 homeless people living on the streets of the city.