“Home” is a place that can be wholeheartedly called as one’s own keeping alive memories that are made along with family is something cannot be accessed by all due to social & economic deprivation. Homeless are the ones who live in “the open or roadside, pavements, in hume-pipes, under fly-over and staircases or in the open in places of worship, mandaps, railway platforms etc”. But the amount of contribution the homeless population makes is incredible for they work as Cleaners in food industry, construction workers, waste pickers, street vendors, Head loaders, etc. hence we call them Citymakers who are invisible to the mainstream of society & often fall under unorganized sector.

There are 1.77 million homeless people in India, or 0.15% of the country’s total population, according to the 2011 census consisting of single men, women, mothers, the elderly, and the disabled. A recent survey of the homeless commissioned by BBMP in partnership with civil society organisations in November 2019 identified 4128 homeless (of who 22% are women and 3% are children). Now with Covid 19 pandemic the number of unemployed people and the homeless have increased.

Acknowledging their presence they are recognized all over the world on 10th of Oetober every year with the intention that the society can start recognizing their contribution. And therefore it is organized in the Bengaluru city to draw the attention of Government, ULB & the society.

We would like to draw the attention of the government and the general society through this press release:

The recent High Court order of 22d July’2021 to put up 84 shelters in Bengaluru & another 82 in other cities of Kamataka are welcomed as the Homeless can get a dignified life. Along with numbers quality of shelters and Rights of the Homeless are equally important.

The CSOS working on the issue demand the following points to be followed by the Government.

1. Government to frame guidelines to run the DAY-SUH program effectively by adopting NULM revised (2018) guidelines. 2 Need to form the Executive Committee under the chairpersonship of Municipal Commissioner for płanning and overseeing the working of shelters. In the cities less than a Million Deputy Commissioner may be given the lead. 3. Shelters shoukd be with rehabilitative services as per the NULM guidelines. NULM provides for range of services. However, most shelters are not yet offering those rehabilitative services. Our goal is to pursue not only for shelters but for shelters with rehabilitative services as per the already available provisions. 4. National Policy on Urban Homelessness. We require an all-inclusive poliey on Urban Homelessness. Any response as tokenism is not acceptable. It must be organized formal response and it is critical that there is a national policy that guides and drives all goverment interventions, programs and schemes 5. One third of the shelters should be dedicated to the old, sick and mentally ill homeless.

6. The shelters should be located near their work sites as far as possible or transportation facility should be arranged. 7. Need shelters attached to every Government hospital for the caretakers of poor patients. At present the care takers sleep on corridors and foot paths. 8. 10th October should be Declared as World Homeless Day. 9. Inclusion of Homeless citizens in voting Rights & Aadhar card & other government entitlement. Process should be simplified for the Homeless as they do not have a permanent address. 10. Enumeration of urban homeless in the coming census should be made without fail. 11. Repeal of Beggary Laws that criminalize homelessness in multiple ways. Several states in the country have beggary prevention legislations. All these laws are more or less similar in their approach towards the poor and homeless; they criminalize and punish people for being on the streets, being a destitute or having mental health issues. Informal sectors workers, daily wage laborer, ete. are all vulnerable for punitive action against them. The way Beggary has been defined under the law; it risks every homeless citizen. Unless we get these laws repealed, we will have our homeless citizens getting arrested and detained for years.

-Fr. Edward – President, +91 9036655805, Dr.Sampath.T.D. Convenor- +91 9449544144, Dr, Bheema, Vice President-9341495716, Dr.H.T Ramachandrappa- Secretary +91 7406444074 Dr. Nagaraju, Director -+91 9341239364 Ms.Rajini, APF Consultant -+91 9448987737 Helpline No (24X7) +91 9606111854, +91 9606111864 http://www.bengaluruhomeless.org

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