The Madras High Court last week sought details on the vaccination drive being undertaken among the homeless mentally ill person and also asked the State Government to renovate, restore and construct the govt care camp/home so that the wandering mentally ill persons can be put up at such site.
The Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P. D. Audikesavalu was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) plea filed by an NGO seeking directions to the State government to identify homeless mentally ill people and vaccinate them.
Filing a status report in the matter, it was submitted by the State Government that 396 wandering mentally ill persons have been rescued and admitted in rehabilitation homes by the State and such persons may have also been vaccinated.
Regarding the Government Care Camps for such people, it was submitted that there is a camp at Melpakkam, that was started by the State Government, in order to eliminate beggary and to rehabilitate beggars under the Tamil Nadu Beggary Prevention Act XIII of 1945.
It was further apprised that the home was established in 1954 and is now highly dilapidated, therefore, the Court directed the State government to make every endeavour to renovate and restore the home and even invest in new construction in the open area so that the wandering mentally ill persons can be put up at such site.
The Court further sought a further report from the State Government indicating the total number of mentally ill persons who are not cared for in the State or who may be wandering and the extent to which such persons have been vaccinated.
In the meantime, the Court has given the liberty to the advocate for the petitioner to meet the officials of the appropriate department, if a meeting in such regard is organized for the purpose of formulating a plan of action generally, for the mentally ill persons across the State and, particularly, as to how to vaccinate all such persons.