Several pictures of disabled children in a centre being locked up like animals recently went viral on social media; alarming many netizens.
The images were first shared by a Facebook user named Vivian, who recounted her experience when she and her family paid her aunt – who is a resident there – a visit. The welfare centre in question is Rumah Kebajikan Kanak-Kanak Cacat (Disabled Children’s Welfare Home) located in Batu Gajah, Perak.
In her Facebook posting, Vivian claimed that she discovered several inmates were given inhumane treatment, while some children were even confined in enclosures with metal swing doors, without water or bed. Several “cages”, she said, even had 2 kids inside. She further added that she only saw 1 shower and a toilet.
According to a report by MMO via Harian Metro, the Disabled Children’s Welfare Home’s chairman, Sivalingam Ramasamy, has come forward to explain that the enclosures were meant for their own well-being, adding that some were “severely mentally-challenged and could turn aggressive” towards others.
“We had to separate these children to keep the others safe and since our funding is so small, our only resort was to put them in those pens,” Sivalingam said before adding, “Of course we provide the inmates with mattresses, blankets and pillows but some of them throw the mattresses out of the pens“.
FMT reported that the welfare home has approximately 47 disabled inmates ranging between the ages of 15 and 60. Only 6 full-time workers together with some partially disabled volunteers are there to monitor the inmates.
Sivalingam has denied the accusation of child abuse, suggesting that perhaps the woman who calls herself Vivian had a misunderstanding about the centre. “This isn’t abuse, but a safety measure. The person who had distributed the images may not have obtained the full picture of the situation,” he was quoted as saying.
Do you still think it’s alright to confine someone in an enclosure though?