source: Forbes, via Occupy the Vatican:
They call her the ‘Angel of Mercy’. She was compassion incarnate; she didn’t think twice before touching a leper on the road or cleaning a festering wound on an unfortunate soul...The world knows her as Mother Teresa...When one pays a visit to Mother House, the heart of the 58-year-old Missionaries of Charity founded by Mother Teresa, one doesn’t see anything out of the ordinary... it is calm and pious, a world away from the cacophony outside on the busy A.J.C. Bose road.
But the cacophony is threatening to spill inside the Missionaries. Followers and volunteers are questioning the quality of service given in the care centers. They feel the Missionaries’ care centers are allergic to using modern-day therapy and technology to care for the inhabitants. Often untrained volunteers are given tasks that would normally require one to be trained in medicine and therapy...The discord is most pronounced in the first home that Mother Teresa set up in 1952–Nirmal Hriday, the Home for Dying Destitutes...It presently has 99 inmates, served by six sisters and dozens of volunteers, mostly young foreigners...It is the kind of work that inspired Hemley Gonzalez, who lived on the other side of the world in Miami, United States. A migrant from Cuba, Gonzalez had grown up in a poor neighborhood and was inspired after reading a biography of Mother Teresa. “I wanted to come to India and serve in Kalighat (the place where Nirmal Hriday is situated),” he recounts over the phone. Gonzales, who runs a real estate business in Miami, reached Kolkata in December 2008 and stayed for two months.
“I was shocked to see the negligence. Needles were washed in cold water and reused and expired medicines were given to the inmates. There were people who had chance to live if given proper care,” says Hemley. He narrates incidents of an untrained volunteer wrongly feeding a paralyzed inmate, who choked to his death; and another where an infected toe of an inmate was cut without anesthesia. “I have decided to go back to Kolkata to start a charity that will be called ‘Responsible Charity.’ Each donation will be made public and professional medical help will be given,” says Hemley, who now runs a campaign on Facebook called ‘Stop Missionaries of Charity,’ and has over 2,000 members...volunteers also cite the need for a well-planned rehabilitation for the sick who go back to the streets once they recover. “Some were sent back to the streets of their own will, but some against it,” says a European volunteer who has been coming to Nirmal Hriday since 2006. She cites the example of an “old lady” suffering from diabetes and incapable of walking. “We were told she was sent to another centre outside Kolkata but just few days later someone saw her on the street close to our centre… We were worried but could not do much.”
...Gonzalez questions why money can’t be used to improve the service at the homes run by the sisters. “Even the inmates soiled and infected clothes are washed by hands. Why can’t they buy a washing machine?” he asks.
It has become a sensitive issue since 2005 when a British television crew filmed children at Daya Dan, a care centre, tied to their beds. Questions arouse about the “primitive practices and lack of using modern methods of teaching.” The incident forced Mother House to release a statement saying, “We value constructive criticism and admit that there is always room for improvement.” Volunteers, who come in dozens from countries like Spain and Italy, have separately narrated incidents about sisters resorting to “shaking violently” or “beating” to discipline the challenged children..."Unfortunately, we are still in the dark when it comes to their financial records,” says Gonzalez.
In early 2000, Susan Shields, a former Missionaries sister who left the organization “unhappy”, created a furor by saying she herself had “written receipts of $50,000″ in donation but there was no sign of the “flood of money.” Forbes India talked to a volunteer in the Los Angeles office of Missionaries of Charity who admitted that “even when bread was over at the soup kitchens, none was bought unless donated.” A report in German magazine Stern, revealed that in 1991 only seven percent of the donation received at Missionaries of Charity was used for charity. Former volunteers and people close to the Mother House revealed that the Vatican, home to the Pope, has control over the “monetary matters” ever since Missionaries of Charity came under its fold in 1965.
When asked about how much money the Charity gets annually, the then superior general Sister Nirmala in a rare media interview a few years ago remarked “Countless.” When asked how much it was, she answered, “God knows. He is our banker.” Forbes India’s request for details was turned down at the Mother House.