Midnight survey of homeless in city
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Midnight survey of homeless in city

January 19, 2020

42 persons sleeping on roadsides shifted to Shelter for Homeless in Gokulam

Mysuru/Mysore: To improve the living standards of people below poverty line and those who seek shelter under flyovers and bridges in cities, Governments usually roll out funds and monitor the situation. But on-ground data reveals a sorry state where the number of urban homeless has shown a gradual increase and statistics reveal that almost 90 percent of the urban homeless in India is yet to get a shelter. 

Following a Supreme Court directive to State Governments to conduct rapid survey of homeless populations of cities, authorities from the Shelter for Homeless along with NGOs and staff of the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) conducted a rapid survey last night from 11 pm to 1.45 am. The team moved in vehicles across the city and identified 42 persons who were sleeping on the road sides and in front of closed shutters of shops. They were shifted to the Shelter for Homeless in Gokulam. 

Teams went around areas including 101 Ganapati Temple, Dhanvantri Road, K.R. Hospital, Santhepet, Railway Station, Lansdowne Building, Market, Sub-Urban Bus Stand, Ashoka Road, Milad Bagh, Sayyaji Rao Road, D. Devaraj Urs Road, Old RMC Bus Stand, Vani Vilas Market and surrounding areas. 

Midnight survey of homeless in city-1

Sleeping men were woken up and bundled into vehicles and taken to the shelter. 

While most of the homeless men resisted the attempts of shifting, they were convinced by Manager of Shelter for Homeless Rethan, Kiran and a few volunteers. They were told that sleeping on the streets was unsafe and they could go to work from the Shelter for Homeless. 

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Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, Rethan said that last night, 42 homeless men were admitted to the Shelter and the place now houses over 100 people including the 59 already admitted ones. The survey was conducted in order to ensure individual entitlements to each homeless person such as ration cards, financial inclusion and health schemes, he revealed. 

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A Star of Mysore reader has sent us this photo of a homeless man on the footpath near Muslim Burial Ground, Tipu Circle. Rain or shine, the man takes shelter under a make-shift automobile roof. He needs to be rehabilitated, says the reader.

People housed in the Shelter can go to their regular work and return in the night. They work as construction labourers and contract workers. “We need to initiate the formal admission process to the newly identified homeless and once done we do a detailed health check-up and provide free treatment at K.R. Hospital. We counsel them and identify the reason why they are sleeping on the roads. Some of them land on the streets due to domestic fights. In such cases we summon their family members and convince them to take back the persons,” he added. 

People who are old and frail are treated and referred to Old Age Homes and those with disabilities and in an incurable state are sent to New Ark Mission of India Home for Hope in Bengaluru run by ‘Auto Raja’ at Doddagubbi village, he added. 

Data will be compiled and analysed in terms of gender, nature of stay, occupation and area of operation to make suitable arrangements to the homeless people. The survey is set to culminate in an action plan to provide need-based access to shelters to this marginalised category of people. 

10 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Midnight survey of homeless in city”

  1. Bhamy V. Shenoy says:

    My appreciation to SOM for publicizing the pathetic state of our homeless people in Mysuru. It is admirable that MCC implemented the mandate of the Supreme Court. Hope those who are in charge of the shelter will look after them with kindness and do their best. One may criticize these people arguing that if only they can take up any job, they need not be on the road. But the real reasons are far more complex and a society should be judged by how it takes care of people in need. Hope SOM will write a follow up story on these homeless people and it does not become just one time event.

  2. Govind Pai says:

    Heartening to see compassion for these people. I remember several years ago seeing a man crawling along the road from my window. People were just ignoring him. I went to see him with some water and snacks. He was obviously an educated man. Spoke English and Tamil, and, just as obviously, mentally disturbed. When I gave him the food, he actually produced a handful of coins from his pocket and offered them to me! I found that he had hurt his leg a long time ago in some accident. The funny thing was that once I intervened, other people also came to help. Many people suppress their better feelings, fearing the cost of getting involved. We called the local police station and I was pleasantly surprised that they immediately sent a police van with a compassionate ASI who took charge, spoke kindly in tamil to the man, and transported him to the shelter for homeless. Reminded of John Bunyan ” There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
    Similarly, recently, the Mumbai Mirror recently published an article on the many cancer patients who, after surgery, were living under a nearby flyover since they still needed to make postoperative visits and could not afford a place to stay. Within a day, hundreds of people were coming with food, blankets etc and even the BMC, though belatedly, swung into action and provided accommodation for all of them in dharmshalas.

  3. Jalandhara says:

    Think about the number of shelters that the money poured on Chandrayaan could get.
    This Chanfdrayaan was an unmitigated disaster and another one is underway. Men walked on the Moon 50 years ago, collected samples and the study was exhaustive. The Apollo projects produced many technological spin offs. Nothing is going to be gained by sending a so called robot, by way of tangible knowledge, except to boast that India too like China is an advanced country. In this boastful country millions homeless people need shelters. Where is the priority?

  4. Srikrishna Bhagwan says:

    @Jalandhara If our Politicians are 10% honest then the problem of homelessness can be solved. You cannot put a price on Scientific Progress. Although the last manned mission was in 1972, US is actively working on restarting the moon machine. Maybe watch some documentary on youtube to find out why moon is still in the game of space exploration.

  5. Srikrishna Bhagwan says:

    @typo — should be read Moon Mission

  6. Govind Pai says:

    I think the money on Chandrayaan may not be
    completely wasted (especially for our PM who cashed in on the carefully scripted photo-op to show himself as a wise and benevolent leader who can motivate people after an apparent failure. The complete videos though show his obvious initial anger at the failure and the way he ignored the upset Director, which the mainly pliant media has not highlighted ) and may have scientific pluses. And ISRO has been far more cost effective than NASA in their satellite launches. But, those statues are costly white elephants. And, as far as I can see, all those crores spent on our strutting, self obsessed PM’s foreign trips has only resulted in selfies and whipping up a distasteful personality cult no different from the obnoxious cult of the Gandhi family which holds the Congress party in thrall. If those crores could have been used to give a dignified life to our starving masses! The more things change, the more they remain the same!

  7. jalandhara says:

    After the men walked on the Moon and plethora of satellites were launched to study the Moon surfaces, it is totally ludicrous to claim the scientific progress in this minor robotic launch which will simply scoop the surface of the Moon for analysis. The communications technology involved is not unique as also the computer technology.
    As for ISRO being more cost effective than NASA, the claim reveals the ignorance of what NASA does in a number of areas and after launching Atlas rockets to Moo n landing by astronauts and a number of Apollo missions, I say this with a good knowledge of what NASA does, NASA contributed so much during that 50+years. Surely, the ISRO cannot claim to have furthered the knowledge in a way NASA has done.
    This Chandrayaan is an ego -enhancing trip to show that India too has expertise. If India is so good, in terms of technologies .for example,why is it buying fighter aircraft from France, despite the fact India has had HAL, NAL, MIG construction sites etc.. etc..?
    Western European countries including France, which has a launch base in French Guyana is not indulging in this Chandrayaan -kind of trip.
    As for Modi’s expenses in travels etc.. though the cost is high, it does not form a significant fraction of the cost of Chadrayaan ego-centric attempts. There will be a further round of temple visits by the ISRO director Sivan, a scientist, before the next Lauch!
    India is a third world country with massive poverty, and the sheer number of homeless people which is like the population of a medium sized country is a disgrace and as usual India gets its priority wrong. The economy is tanking, the Indian Rupees is next valueless, The US Dollar the defacto currency of the well to do in India, poverty getting worse which the homelessness severity demonstrates and so on. Yes, Chadrayaan is a very necessity under these conditions!! What an irony!!!

  8. Govind Pai says:

    Jalandhara, I should not have made that off-the-cuff remark about ISRO being more cost effective than NASA. Obviously, pioneering attempts are quite different from copy cat attempts. And I do take your larger point about misplaced priorities, about trying to create a false narrative of greatness, so our leaders can bask in a fake glory, while nothing changes for the 75% of people at the bottom. And yes, it is glaring that the ISRO chief does a temple run
    before the launch. Science does not by any means negate the concept of God or spirituality, but the scientific method does posit that the laws of nature are not amenable to our supplication (in fact the Upanishads like the western philosopher, Spinoza, are pantheistic in their outlook. God is the laws of nature and does not intercede in human affairs). It is ironical that this government touts these technological achievements when they have no concept of the scientific method which underpins them, the spirit of rationality, of debate and questioning in all spheres of life, instead of an unquestioning acceptance of the words of “great men” and “leaders” and “god men” of assorted types. These clueless, so-called leaders, good at posturing and the PR photo-op but little else, are leading us down a rabbit hole.

  9. jalandhara says:

    @Govind Pai. I do not live in India, but what is clear is that the country has not made any serious attempt to solve the poverty, the homelessness and the despair of the have not who run into millions. The latter were a tiny fraction when India became a Republic, and even as a primary school kid, I shared the joyous feeling of being part of independent India, and the country had full of hopes then. The moral and material decay of the nation within a decade of independence was palpable in 1950s, very noticeable in 1960s and became intolerable in 1970s. The acid test then was addressing of poverty and the concomitant homelessness, which demonstrated that Indian politicians run the country for their benefit only. That impression is continued till today.
    The country poured crores of rupees first into central laboratories, which did nothing in terms of research and the scientists joined there did so, to seek better positions abroad. NAL-The National Aeronautical Laboratory together with the HAL were to advance the technology in the area of aviation and particularly NAL was funded to progress towards the development of better aeroengines for fighter aircraft. The failure became very evident when India quietly purchased MIGs from the Soviet Union and the circle is complete now with the acquisition of Rafale fighter jets. The central laboratories we were told then will give us spin off dividends which will enrich the nation. Now, this ISRO Chandrayaan launches repeating the same mantra. I asserted with good scientific evidence, that the Moon landings and the tests carried out by astronauts, and NASA , showed all that had to be learned about Moon. The reasoning used in creating and running those national laboratories surface again in respect of Chandrayaan. Interesting that no other nation in the first world is attempting these yaans to the Moon. The answer is evident. Hence, the quest is directed at Mars now. the funding by Western countries for this project is very measured, as they know of other priorities./
    I am not agnostic, do believe in the power of prayer and do pray every day at home. I I do understand the value of spirituality. I have attended the talks by late Sir C V Raman, the first Indian Nobel Prize winner, and could gather that he was not agnostic, so too was Robert Oppenheimer who directed the Manhattan Project that produced the atom bomb. Their prayers were personal and silent. But this Sivan goes around temples like Chamundeshwari temple, Tirupathi temple etc..offering prayers in each, which looks very odd indeed, and these many rounds do not speak of spirituality at all. Sivan hails from a part of Tamil Nadu where there is a famous Subrahmanya temple where his forebears prayed, and it was part of Tamil Murugan culture. That would have been more appropriate, instead of these rounds.
    I raised the example Chandrayaan , because the funding involved is massive, the very reason NASA was asked to cut its ambitious programmes in a country which is arguably the richest country in the world. I get the feeling that this is Modi-initiated project, he even praised the failed first attempt, to project India too as scientifically advanced country ( China being the bogey opponent!), ignoring the millions of homeless people who need a fraction of Chadrayaan funding to get them into shelters. They now have the soul-destroying experience of living in filthy open spaces, whilst a section of heir countrymen are happily frittering away sending a robot to yonder, where men visited in enough numbers 50 years ago! But the homeless millions do not provide, Modi opportunities for selfies, howdy events etc..

  10. Govind Pai says:

    Jalandhara, enjoyed your reminiscences. I am of a slightly later generation, but my grandfather and many in my father’s generation sacrificed a lot, leaving secure government jobs in the idealistic quest for an India responsive to the needs of its most vulnerable. But, as you say, we are staggering from one set of bad leaders to a set that are even worse, who just mouth empty rhetoric and fake promises while aggrandizing themselves or consolidating their power.
    And yes, there is a big difference between a private and intense spirituality that seeks a better world for all and the public and cloying religiosity for personal favours which is so much in evidence now. And your reference to Robert Oppenheimer of course reminds me of him quoting Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: ” I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” after the team at the Manhattan project witnessed the mushroom cloud from the first nuclear detonation in the sands of New Mexico. Technology can bring us heaven or it can bring us hell. We have to define heaven or hell for ourselves as a society first.
    Love reading the reminiscences of you older people.

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