Three more Nirbhaya homes soon

It will come up in Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta

The State will get three more Nirbhaya shelter homes. The homes, where survivors of abuse and trafficking are lodged, will come up in Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Pathanamthitta.

The space for homes are at the Punnapra Vadakku panchayat in Alappuzha, municipal area in Kottayam, and Aranmula in Pathanamthitta. The Kerala Mahila Samakhya Society has been entrusted with the task of running the homes.

Administrative sanction for the homes had been given earlier, but the project got delayed. With the elections over, instructions have been given to expedite procedures related to fixing rent in Alappuzha. Rent fixing in Kottayam and Pathanamthitta has been completed.

The homes will house 25 residents.

The government plans to set up two special homes. One is for minor girls in government care homes who are pregnant or set to undergo or have completed medical termination of pregnancy and for those who have given birth. As per the Social Justice Department, nearly 20 children live with their mothers in its care homes.

However, the government finds it difficult to provide these pregnant or young mothers proper care when they are put up with other girl survivors of abuse. The officials are not able to focus on the present and future requirements, including education, of the pregnant or young mothers and their children. The other survivors too do not get enough attention as the staff pattern is not conducive to taking care of everyone.

The government now plans to set up an integrated care home for pregnant girls or young mothers at Peyad in the capital district so that their care and that of their children can be ensured.

A study of children in the government homes conducted by the University of Kerala psychology department last year had found that many children had psychiatric issues ranging from borderline personality disorder to bipolar disorder.

With home officials experiencing problems in managing such children with other residents, the government has decided to shift them to a facility where they can be provided full-time care and treatment to improve their mental well-being.

This special home, in the government’s own building in Thrissur, will be attached to the mental health hospital there. The residents will get the services of a full-time psychiatrist and psychologist and one caretaker for five residents each. Procedures for selection of a non-governmental organisation to run the home are on.

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