Sivasagar, March 27: The Sivasagar district administration will set up a night shelter for the homeless but first, a temporary home for the women among them will be inaugurated at Kathpar tomorrow.
Sivasagar additional deputy commissioner P.C. Bhattacharya said based on the directive of the Supreme Court — to state governments — to provide shelters to the homeless in all urban areas, the administration had conducted a survey in the district and a proposal had been given to Dispur for a shelter based on public-private participation.
In May 2010, the Supreme Court directed all states to look into the issue , directing them to build one shelter for every one lakh people in cities with a population above five lakh by December 31, 2010.
This year on January 9the Supreme Court reiterated that the right to dignified shelters is a necessary component of Right to Life under Article 21 of the Constitution.
District social welfare officer Dipali Swargiary said a meeting held recently by the administration had decided to use the rented house of Sankalpa, an NGO, used to train destitute women to upgrade livelihood skills.
“For a few months we have sought that Swadhar, the home used by Sankalpa for housing and training batches of 50 destitute women be used temporarily as a night shelter for 10 homeless women until a more permanent solution is found,” Swargiary said.
She said three non-government organisations had come forward to construct a shelter for the homeless and the proposal had been forwarded to the government.
The general secretary of Sankalpa, Nizu Rahman, said he was happy that the Swadhar Home would be able to shelter women and children who sleep every night on the streets and are often victims of crime and exploitation.
“As the district administration has sought Swadhar for this purpose we are quite happy to provide them security for the night but this will have to be a temporary arrangement as most of the time we are also full with our own destitute women who receive skill upgrade training every three months in this house,” Rahman said.
The chairman of the Sivasagar Municipal Board, Rana Khan, said a total of 36 children, women and men between the ages of one and 50 had been identified as homeless in Sivasagar town and the board will soon take up construction of a temporary tin shed to house them at Solegaon.
“The night shelter at Solegaon near the Sivasagar crematorium will be a temporary arrangement; we are looking for land to put up a more permanent structure with the help of private participation,” he said.