Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): Hundreds of people on Wednesday staged a peaceful demonstration in front of Tawngtai Bethel Camping Centre (TBCC), a private run de-addiction centre located at Chawnpui locality in Aizawl, demanding the authority to reform the administration.
The protesters including victim families also demanded that the centre be closed down if the authority failed to get society registration.
During the demonstration, the protesters carried banners and placards indicating that they did not want home which has poor maintenance or sub-standard treatment and said that the centre should not admit inmates more than it can accommodate.
The de-addiction centre has since recently drew a flak from public on social networking sites after some campers or inmates were reportedly died due to poor medical facility and sub-standard treatment. Sources also said that over hundred campers have left the centre since the last few days due to poor management. Authority of the centre also allegedly failed to provide good facility including regular water supply and food, sources added.
The camping centre was established in 2005 by one TT Zohmingthanga and is running without society registration under the state government.
Speaking to reporters at the protest site, some protesters said that they did not want their relatives to be kept in a home which has no proper registration under the government. They also alleged that the de-addiction centre admitted inmates beyond the capacity it can accommodate and sick person were not give proper medical treatment which led to the death of some inmates. “ The camping centre is running with poor facilities and there was absence of proper sanitation system,” they alleged.
According to social activist Vanramchhuangi alias Ruatfela Nu, the inmates, most of them drug addicts and alchoholics, of this centre received sub-standard treatment and sometimes physical torture from the self-styled security personnel of the centre.
“A number of inmates have died in the past due to apparent physical torture. The centre also admitted inmate more than it can accommodate. Therefore, the inmates received inhumane treatment here,” she said.
Meanwhile, a media team on Tuesday visited the camping centre and interacted with the owners and inmates.
Speaking to reporters, Zohmingthanga admitted that the camping centre do not have society registration under the state government, “When the centre was established in 2005, we approached Taxation department who suggested us to get registration. But when we consult the concerned department, they told us that the centre needs not to be registered. If we have registration, it will receive financial involvement which we don’t like as it is part of ministry,” he said.
He said that they did not have nurses or people who have specialization in medicine among the staff. “When we have sick inmates we usually sent them to doctors for medical treatment along with their relatives and those who have no families, our staff alone took them to doctors,” he said, adding that a part from free clinic and medical camp organized by the state government, they did not have other medical facilities.
Denying the allegation, he also said that they hardly used physical torture.
Zohmingthanga also denied the allegation that people living with HIV are being ostracized at the home. He said that they have many HIV patients who are taking ART treatment and these people are taken to hospital regularly. “We are giving equal treatment and care to all the inmates,” he said.
There are 797 campers including 132 females at the rehab home till Tuesday.