On June 11th 2014, we came to know about sexual abuse and huge number of suspicious deaths happening at Akshaya Trust Home, Kodimangalam Village, Madurai through our secondary sources. Hence a fact finding investigation team was constituted by CCJAT. This team conducted fact finding investigation on 23rd and 24th of June 2014. The Akshaya Trust Home is surrounded by Kodimangalam, Tharapatti and Pudhur villages. It is one kilometer away from the main road, close to REACH Children Home and DJ Farm. It is 25Kms away from Madurai city.
Facts and Sequence of the case:
Everyday employees of Akshaya Trust go into Madurai town with their rescue van and look for destitute. When they find a destitute they take the destitute in their van and bring them to their Home at Kodimangalam village.The villagers allege that Akshaya Trust employees forcefully take/abduct even normal people from their villages who were roaming alone with dirty dress. So the villagers were under constant fear of abduction and hence were avoiding going out alone to the field, temple etc. There were rumors among the villagers that at Akshaya Trust Home the administration officials were involved in illegal organ trade.
On 5th June 2014 a girl named Mahoor Nisha an inmate of Akshaya Trust Home escaped from the Home and sought protection from Kodimangalam villagers who were working in the field under Mahatma National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. Mehoor Nisha told the villagers that inside the Akshaya Trust Home the women inmates were sexually abused and the organs (like kidney) of the inmates were illegally removed and sold. But no action was taken against Akshaya Trust Home by the district administration and Akshaya Trust Home is still functioning as usual.
Case was filed at High Court of Madras, Madurai Bench by All India Democratic Women’s’ Association (AIDWA) to take action against Akshaya Trust Home regarding allegation of sexual abuse and huge number of inmates’ suspicious deaths. High Court appointed advocate Geetha as advocate commissioner to visit Akshaya Trust Home and file a report. CCJAT’s fact finding team went to Akshaya Trust Home, interviewed various persons and compiled their fact finding report before advocate commissioner Geetha filed her report in the High Court. CCJAT’s fact finding team found several irregularities during their visit to Akshaya Trust Home by interviewing villagers, authorities and several others.
- Many inmates speak clearly, coherently and with a clear statement that they were lifted forcibly and detained against their wishes, demand that they should be allowed to go.
- The Trust Management has brandished several inmates as mentally ill, without any medical examination by qualified doctors.
- Akshaya Trust Home does not have any records to mention any claim made by the relatives of any dead persons for performing of the funeral rites.
- Akshaya Trust Home is not in touch with the family members of any of the inmates. There is no intimation given to the family members of the inmates after they were admitted to the Home or after their death or after their alleged escape from the Home. 63 inmates have allegedly escaped from Akshaya Trust Home. The particulars of the people who are brought inside the home is not provided to anyone including their family or any public body.
- Akshaya Trust Home is registered under section 52 of Persons with disabilities Act 1995 and under the Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill persons Rules 2002
- The Akshaya Trust Home should admit only treated mentally ill persons who are disabled as per the Disability Evaluation and Assessment Scale (IDEAS) duly certified by a Psychiatrist.
- The Tamil Nadu Registration of Psychiatric Rehabilitation of Mentally ill Persons Rules 2002, provides for the procedure for admissions and discharge of mentally ill person in Chapter II, Rule 15 to 18 and the Infrastructural Facilities and services to be provided in psychiatric rehabilitation centres in Chapter IV, Rules 19 to 22, the Organization and Conduct of Rehabilitation Work is described in Chapter V, Rules 23 to 28.
- Rule 15 states that all admissions into and discharges from a Psychiatric Rehabilitation Centre of mentally ill persons, should be voluntary and made on the advice of psychiatrist. The Psychiatrist should certify that the person referred is a mentally ill person who requires only maintenance, medication and rehabilitation measures. There is no such certification for any of the mentally ill person as per this rule in Akshaya Trust Home.
- Women and Men are not segregated. They live in separate rooms next to each other. There are HIV positive patients, T.B. patients, patients with tumors and mentally ill and disordered patients among the inmates. But they are not segregated according to their diseases.
- The Akshaya Trust is not at all registered with the Social Welfare Department. They have just intimated the Social Welfare Department about their existence. The Social Welfare Department Authorities very well know that Akshaya trust is housing elderly people and destitute, who come in to Social Welfare Department’s purview. But the Social Welfare Department Authorities did not send any show cause notice till date to the Akshaya trust insisting registration.
- The Akshaya trust home was inaugurated on 9th May 2013. Since then 118 inmates has died. Akshaya trust home claims that all these deaths are nature deaths. They have also got death certificates from the doctors saying that all the deaths are due to cardiac arrest or respiratory arrest.
- But the standard death certificate format issued by the Government clearly says that Cardiac arrest or Respiratory arrest cannot be mentioned as the reason for the death. This creates suspicious about the death of Akshaya trust home inmates.
- The inmates of the home are physically abused and tortured by the employees. The inmates who wanted to go out were denied permission. It means that inmates brought in to the home were not allowed to go out at any cost. In other words most of the inmates are confined withinAkshaya home premises against their wish, which is against every individual’s liberty to be free.
- The V.A.O. and Nagamalai Pudukkottai Police Station officials were informed about the death of the inmates. But none of these officials questioned the trust authorities about the huge number of deaths. Both of these authorities simply accepted all the documents submitted by the trust officials.
- The owning’s of the inmates removed from them during admission were not accounted and was also not returned back to them.
- Most of the inmates were under sedation and behave like robots.
- From January 2014 onwards 57 inmates have died.
- The Akshaya home management does not have any procedure or methodology for branding or identifying a person to be a destitute or mentally ill.
- The dormitories were locked outside after sending the inmates into their respective dormitories.
- Akshaya Trust Home took custody of so called destitutes without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act. In few cases the police themselves have picked and handed over nearly 30 inmates to Akshaya Trust home without obtaining orders from the concerned Judicial Magistrate as required under the Mental Health Act.
- Till date all the admissions / rescues made by Akshaya Trust are illegal.
For full report contact HRF