Two shelter homes for destitute pregnant women: Delhi govt

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New Delhi, Jan 19 (PTI) The Delhi government today saidit has identified two shelter homes for destitute pregnant andlactating women for their care and upkeep.

Appearing before a Delhi High Court''s division bench ofChief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, Standingcounsel Najmi Waziri submitted that two community centres--onein Kalkaji and other in Jahangirpuri--have been identified forthe shelter homes for those destitute women who deliver thechild on the footpath.

The government would take some time to provideinfrastructure in the homes, the lawyer said adding two NGOsAll India Womens'' Conference(AIWC) and Young Womens'' ChristianAssociation were assigned to draw up criteria to admit suchwomen and the period of their stay in the homes.

He said the government has taken the decision inconsultation with Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board andthe Department of Women and Child Development.

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

The court had last week directed the authorities toearmark at least two shelter homes equipped with medicalfacilities to cater to destitute pregnant women.

The direction had came following a report filed by anamicus curiae, appointed by the court, who had visited thecity''s few shelter homes run by NGOs. According to the report,he was told that they were not keen to provide shelter todestitute pregnant women as they only rehabilitated destitutewomen.

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

The court has initiated suo-motu action on the basis ofthe newspaper reports that a woman died on the pavement aftergiving birth to a child due to lack of medical care on July26, last year.

The woman was found lying in a pool of dirty rainwater atShankar Market in posh Connaught Place area after giving birthto a baby girl.

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

The court had expressed concern over the incident takingplace despite various welfare schemes of the government forthe poor people.

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