ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Redefining the Purpose and Rules of Shelters

There are no easy short-term solutions to the abysmal functioning of shelter homes for women and children in India. But regular social audits are a vital starting point and should be part of every state’s monitoring and awareness raising mechanism. The information now available on the number, location, who can access shelters and what facilities exist at each one, should be available in one place to facilitate action. Also, the purpose behind setting up these shelter homes should be examined and redefined.

The exposure of the sordid and tragic sexual exploitation of the inmates in the Muzaffarpur shelter of Bihar and the media coverage along with the Supreme Court’s intervention, will hopefully be historic turning points in the story of Indian shelters for the most vulnerable, socially ostracised, abandoned men, women and children.

The audit report by members of the Koshish project of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) on the Muzaffarpur shelter is in the public domain and marks an extremely important milestone for all those working with actual or prospective shelter users. There are no easy short-term solutions that any audit and analysis can fix, but such social audits are a vital starting point and should be part of every state’s monitoring and awareness raising mechanism. The information now available on the number, location, who can access shelters and what facilities exist at each shelter should be available in one place that those who may want to use or those who are trying to assist can access easily. This is an absolute minimum that is not available in most states.

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Updated On : 15th Sep, 2018
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