Vasundhara Masoodi appalled during her maiden visit to Lal Ded Hospital

The new SCPWCR chairperson directs authorities to ensure safety of women and children
Vasundhara Masoodi appalled during her maiden visit to Lal Ded Hospital
File pic

Disappointed over bad sanitary conditions and lack of beds for patients at Lal Ded hospital here, chairperson State Commission for Protection of Women & Child Rights (SCPWCR), Vasundhra Phatak Masoodi Thursday directed authorities to ensure safety of children and mothers.

During her maiden visit to the largest maternity hospital inthe city – a day after her appointment – Masoodi said a healthy state was notpossible if the women of the state were not healthy.

"During my visit to the hospital I saw that in some wardsthe toilets are without doors. Also, the patients were made to share bed. Thepregnant women who have to undergo surgery or are crying with labour pain, theyneed comfort at that time, both mental and physical, but in Lal Ded they aremade to share beds," Masoodi told Greater Kashmir.

Before taking up her latest assignment, Masoodi practicedlawyer in the Supreme Court of India, High Courts of Delhi, Punjab and Haryanaand Jammu and Kashmir, besides serving in various tribunals.

"I tried to open the washroom of one ward, but the hospitalstaff told me that an attendant is inside the toilet. I told them that I willwait for an hour till the attendant doesn't come out. I knew that the hospitalstaff is lying, and after five minutes when the door opened there was noattendant there," she said.

"You won't believe that the washroom was in such a badstate. And the other washroom that was in the same ward was dumped with dirtylinen."

On Tuesday, the government appointed Masoodi as chairpersonof the SCPWCR. The Commission was headless for almost a year after the collapseof the PDP-BJP government last year.

In absence of a chairperson, at least 197 cases – 153 inKashmir and 44 in Jammu – are pending trail in the SCPWCR, earlier known asWomen's Commission.

Unlike other states in India, Jammu and didn't have acommission for protection of child rights. It was only last year that theCommission was established. In other states the commission for child rights,which has the powers of a civil court, was established in 2005.

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