Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Iskcon Bangalore comes to the rescure of Beggars Colony inmates


Thursday | Sep 16, 2010 | Santosh Kumar RB | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
The inmates of Beggars’ Colony on Magadi Road at Sumanahalli will be provided with food, supplied from Iskcon.

“The newly-appointed Social Welfare Minister Govind M Karjol visited the Beggars Rehabilitation Centre to take stock of the situation on Wednesday.”

Social welfare department minister, Govinda M Karajola, said on Wednesday that inmates have been receiving food from Iskcon for the past one week on a trial basis.
Now, the government has decided to continue with the plan for the betterment and good health of the inmates.
Karajola said that inmates will get three meals a day, for which the department will pay Rs35 per head, per day to Iskcon. Apart from this, the colony kitchen will prepare ragi mudde (red millet balls), chapati and gruel required by the inmates.
In addition to this, the Art of Living (AOL) is conducting yoga sessions to the inmates. The classes will be held between 6am and 7.30am daily.
Karajola also inaugurated a water treatment plant set up at a cost of Rs12 lakh. He said that the department will give more importance in maintaining the hygiene conditions of the inmates.
To avoid more tragedies, the government has deployed medical staff in the colony to treat the inmates. The BBMP on its part has deployed 20 conservancy staff. New uniforms with the inmates’ identity numbers have also been distributed, he said.
The minister said that more than 200 inmates would be released after they promised that they will not beg in the city.
Karajola also said that a biometric system will be introduced to keep track of the inmates.
The department is planning to transfer old aged and orphaned inmates to NGOs, which run with government funds, he added.
Meanwhile, the report of the probe conducted by IAS officer, S Selva Kumar, into the tragedy will be submitted within four days, to the state government, the minister said.

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Bengaluru, Aug. 30: Responding to the 30 deaths in two weeks at the Beggars Colony allegedly as a result of food poisoning, the government has approached Iskcon to cook for the men and women taken off the streets and given shelter with the promise of a better life.
Vice president, Iskcon, Chanchalapathi Dasa, says it has in principal agreed to feed the beggars under its Akshayapathra scheme. “Usually under the scheme we bear the total cost of setting up a centralised kitchen, and the government takes care of 65 per cent of the cost of running it. But in the case of the Beggars’ Colony, the government will have to bear the total cost and the food will be provided by us on a cost to cost basis,” he explains. Iskcon feeds 2.15 lakh children in Bengaluru and five lakh in the state under its Akshayapathra scheme. It has two centralized kitchens in Bengaluru and five kitchens in the state. It recently gave up providing food to inmates of the Central prison at Parappana Agrahara to concentrate more on feeding children in the city.
Asked if it plans to set up an additional kitchen to cater to the beggars of the colony, Mr Dasa says nothing has been decided on this as yet. Iskcon may begin cooking for the beggars after Janmashtami, according to him.
“Iskcon will provide food on an experimental basis to the beggars to begin with. If all goes well, they will continue,” says Mr Ramegowda, secretary, center for relief committee at the Beggars’ Colony. Meanwhile a detailed dietary plans has been prepared by Dr Harimurthy of Karuna Trust for the cooks at the colony’s kitchen to serve the beggars with more nutritious food. The colony which has over 2,600 inmates a fortnight ago is left with merely 650 of them now.
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Bangalore, Sept 15, DH News Service:
The newly-appointed Social Welfare Minister Govind M Karjol visited the Beggars Rehabilitation Centre to take stock of the situation on Wednesday.
There has been a drastic decrease in the number of inmates from 2,500 to 250, even though more facilities have been provided at the Beggars’ Colony.
Earlier this year Dormitory No 8 housed 500 inmates. Now the number has been come down to 100. With the improvement in situation this dormitory now houses only 70 inmates, explained a warden.
The minister said as many as 200 inmates, whose relatives have vouched for them or assured that they would not beg in the future, have been released in the past few days.
He also inaugurated a state-of- the-art water purifier system that would henceforth provide oxidised water to inmates. Also five borewells have been drilled to ensure water supply to the Colony, at a cost of Rs 10 lakh.
“We are on a drive to address the lacunae in various beggars rehabilitation centres across the State,” said Karjol.
Mental health
As many as 98 inmates in the Colony are likely to be shifted to the Dharwad Mental Hospital for better care, he added.
In order to improve the situation, three doctors and 10 nurses have been pressed into service at the Primary Health Care Centre at the Colony, in addition to taking up of repair works at dormitories, at an estimated cost of Rs 32 lakh.
Good food
Also, the Department has roped in ISKCON for cooking and distributing better quality food to the inmates, at a cost of Rs 35 per person for three meals a day, he said.
The minister said the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments have been asked to rehabilitate beggars from their states, who are now housed in the Beggars’ Colony in Bangalore.

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