The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has joined hands with the city police department and local NGOs to start an initiative of relocating the homeless people on the streets to night shelters. Last week, around 18 homeless, majority being beggars, we shifted to the shelters.
As per the reports of TOI, the daily enquired the civic and police officials about the large number of homeless sleeping on the streets. As per a seven year old Supreme court order, state and central government have to make sure that no persons sleep on the streets at night. In Nagpur, the authorities have been found passing over this order. About eight locations were scouted before questioning the NMC deputy municipal commissioner Ranjana Lade. Lade then ordered the NGOs operating NMC’s five night shelters to start the initiative at the earliest.
NGOs viz. Sanskruti, Sahara, Vaishnavi, Sahyadri and Janjagruti Awahan Samiti have come together to start the drive.
While speaking to TOI, Devendra Gade – coordinator of the NGOs, said that the initiative was carried out at Chhota Neem Durgah, RBI Square, Zero Mile and other locations in Civil Lines last week.
“We could guide 18 homeless and shifted them to night shelters. Now, total number of homeless in five night shelters have increased to around 200,” he said.
Gade said the initiative will last through the winter season. “Actually, we carry out the drive throughout the year. There was a gap for some time. We conduct the drive in association with crime branch. Sometimes, we use our own team and vehicles,” he said.
The areas such as Kasturchand Park, Yashwant Stadium where a lot of Banjara population is found, is still not covered. The population has mostly small kids, women and senior citizens who are found at various squares selling items or begging.
The five night shelters are located in Sitabuldi (40 beds), below railway station flyover (30 beds), Dipti Signal (30 beds), Indora (40 beds) and Hansapuri (100 beds). A total of 240 beds are available, which still is less as compared to the number of homeless. There are still some homeless found on the streets and footpaths which show that not all homeless have been taken care of by the said NGOs. Under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), the central and state governments provide funds for development, operation and maintenance of the shelter homes. But the negligence remains.
Title image: maryscullyreports