Dist administration finds many were being operated without licences, while others lacked even basic facilities

BANGALORE : Hospitals and rehabilitation centres for the mentally ill in Bangalore need some tightening of screws, for many of them are operating without licences, psychiatrists and nursing staff. In this direction, the district administration recently ordered closure of 11 centres for operating without licence and 16 of them for not providing even the basic facilities such as toilets and beds for inmates.

In all, the administration had issued licences to 38 centres for treating the mentally ill.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, deputy commissioner of Bangalore Urban district M K Ayyappa said, “The decision to order the closure was taken following a direction from the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC).”

The chairman of the commission had issued directions to act tough on the centres violating provisions of the Mental Health Act and human rights.

As per the Centre’s guidelines, a licence is mandatory for running a hospital or any centre for treating the mentally ill. During an inspection, a team of district surgeons found that 11 centres were being operated without licence, while 16 had no proper facilities for the inmates.

Some of the centres that were ordered to close include Muktha Rehabilitation Centre in BEL Layout, Trust for the Betterment for Human Resources in Whitefield, Tehima Sidhva Trust on Bagalur Main Road, Manvanthara in Whitefield, Rehabilitation for Drug and Alcohol, Mental Illness in Mahalakshmi Layout and Abhayam near Agara.

Some of the centres that were ordered to shut down include deaddiction centres.

KSHRC chairman S R Nayak told Bangalore Mirror, “Many centres in Bangalore are known for violating human rights. There were reports of such centres being used to confine people involved in land and family disputes.”

He said there were instances of goons running them for vested interests. “At the time of inspection, it was found the inmates were cut off from the outside world.”

The commission directed the deputy commissioner of Bangalore Urban district to come out with an action taken report on the illegal functioning of such centres. Some of the centres shut down by the district administration were allegedly charging Rs 2,000 to Rs 8,000 a month. Some were even demanding more money for providing treatment.

Suchith Kidiyoor, Bangalore Mirror