The Telegraph
Tuesday , September 2 , 2014
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Meet to enlist the homeless

Unorganised help is equivalent to no help.

In order to help the homeless get shelter and other aid from the government, knowing the exact number of such people in Ranchi is certainly the starting point.

Thus, the urban resource centre of Ekjut — a Ranchi-based NGO working on health issues and empowerment of marginal communities — organised a meeting with ward councillors of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) on Monday to ask them to nominate someone in their locality who would help identify the homeless. Though the NGO had invited 29 councillors, only seven turned up.

Asked about their plan of enumerating the homeless, project co-ordinator Ziauddin Khan said they would first identify such people with help from councillors of those areas and then do a detailed profiling.

“We will be happy to help. We will nominate a representative from our locality very soon,” said councillor of ward No. 37 Arun Kumar Jha.

There is a scheme for shelter for urban homeless under the central government’s National Urban Livelihood Mission and funds are available for the purpose, Khan said.

He further added that the scheme was to be implemented in towns having more than one lakh population.

“We have already drawn up a road map and identified places where a lot of homeless people live in shanties or sleep in front of shops,” said Khan.

His colleague Priyanka Sharma added that women, the elderly and children needed special attention.

“There are 11 rayen baseras in the city and some of them also have basic amenities such as taps and toilets. But, in most cases the facilities are not maintained properly and at times even illegally occupied,” she added.