SUPREME COURT TAKING INITIATIVE TOWARDS WOMEN IN MENTAL HEALTH INSTITUTIONS
The Supreme Court has heard the plea of women facing issues while seeking rehabilitation or vaccination of patients in mental health institutes. The court has decided that the central government will address all the issues together with the state government to carry out monthly monitoring of progress. This initiative of filing the complaint was taken by advocate Gaurav Bansal. He said that around 10,000 people who could have been discharged from the mental hospitals were forced to stay in the same hospital or some different hospital across the country due to social stigma. He also demanded through his plea that everybody should be tested for Covid and be completely vaccinated as they are the most vulnerable sections of our society. Women face other difficulties as well such as assessing sanitary pads which are not available in any public place or even any mental health homes which were also addressed to the court. Women have always been treated with injustice since the very beginning. It's still prevalent in all the sectors of a country, be it the government or our homes. Even though there has been a great improvement in the treatment received by women in all spheres of life but it still needs a lot of mending. They face different problems in different spheres of life.
DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and Hima Kohli were the three judges of a three-judge bench of justices. They agreed that these issues were of serious concern that necessary directions would be taken so that this problem is completely elevated. The Supreme Court also took a decision to direct a time-bound vaccination for all the persons in the mental health institutions and all are also asking to lay down the schedule for vaccinating them. The Supreme Court also commanded the state to submit the plan in a month. It also directed that all this work should be done in the next six months and the institutes of rehab homes are asked to create and maintain a website about all the details which should be set up in four weeks and the portal's need to show the details of the regional distribution and occupancy. It is a great step taken by the supreme court for making state governments more accountable. It will also bring clarity for what is going inside the mental health homes as they function in a very opaque manner usually. In so many cases seen women suffering from mental illnesses are completely separated from their children at the care centers which is against the rules and should not be done. The Supreme Court order will also look into such matters. It is now been adopted as a habit to treat women in and in a dignified manner but hopefully, with these initiatives taken by the government, the condition will improve.
The government is also asking for more than just redesigning the old-age homes or shifting beggars into these homes. There is a need to establish proper rehab homes was a remark by the Supreme Court for the Maharashtra government. Maharashtra government has also objected to the practice of shifting patients to beggar homes as it violates the mental health act. Uttar Pradesh government has been criticized for redesigning old-age homes to rehab homes for the mentally challenged where instead they should have made different and separate institutions rather than compiling them.