TAMIL NADU

Welcome move

Sir, — It is commendable that the recommendations of the 12-member committee headed by Siva Chidambaram, constituted to suggest ways to streamline the operation of homes for the mentally-ill at Erwadi, are being implemented.

It is a welcome move on the part of the Tamil Nadu Government to have framed rules that will ensure minimum standards of care for the patients at the psychiatric rehabilitation centres.

One reads that the order stipulates that no inmate at the centres should be "chained or fettered" but what appears to be loosely or unhappily worded is that "temporary restraining of a person from causing harm to himself or to others" is not barred.

The erring home-keepers responsible for the death of 25 inmates in Erwadi ought to have been prosecuted under the Indian Lunatic Act 84.

It would be better to do away with asylums associated with religious shrines.

Srimathi Venkatachari, Julich, Germany

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