Skip to main content

Maharashtra govt "unwillng" to build 124 community shelters for 60,000 homeless in Mumbai: GBGBA

By Our Representative
The most awaited monsoon may have knocked the doors of Mumbai, bringing cheers on the face of the city dwellers. But the rains are proving to be a curse to nearly 60,000 homeless persons, especially infants, the sick and the aged. A right to information (RTI) reply has revealed that, despite clearcut official guidelines, the government has not cared to build 124 community shelters to protect them.
The response received to the RTI plea by the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) has revealed that, while there are seven night shelters in Mumbai, not one of them has been built by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) as per the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) guidelines.
While one of them – in Byculla – has been vacated because of its “dilapidated” condition, in rest of the six, near Alankar Cinerma, in Byculla, near Wandhede Stadium, in Bandra West, in Andheri East and Malad East, there is a total capacity of just 320 persons.
Revealing this BGBNA, an affiliate of the National Alliance of People's Movements, led by social activist Medha Patkar, has said, “As per census of 2011, there are 57,416 homeless persons in Mumbai. The guidelines laid down under the NULM of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation states that there should be a permanent community shelter for every one lakh population.”
It adds, “Mumbai has a population of 12,442,373 as per 2011 census. As per the guidelines, there should be at least 124 community shelters. But it seems that neither the Maharashtra government nor the MCGM is bothered about risk of life the homeless may face during rains in the absence of any shelter.”
“It is startling to know that not a single rupee has been spent so far by the Maharashtra government”, the statement says, adding, “Prem Kishore Gaikwad, mother of a girl child, in her twenties, has been living on pavement since her parent died twenty years back. She cleans the gutters throughout the year except rainy season when they switch their job to rag picking.”
BGGBA quotes Gaidwad as saying, “I have built a temporary roof of plastic on the pavement but it leak badly during the rains, so, we move to sleep under the nearby bridge”. Adds GBGB, “Her pavement dwelling along with more than 20 families is located at Santa Cruz Highway.”
It further says, “The recent release of Development Plan of Mumbai has again reignited this discourse and various civil society groups sending suggestions and objections so as to make sure that maximum space remain in public domain and allotted in the interest of people with special focus on poor.”
Referring to “clear ruling from the Supreme Court which has made it mandatory for the state governments to construct shelter for homeless”, GBBGA says, “In a latest affidavit filed by Under Secretary to the Government of India, (MHUPA) in the Supreme Court, it is revealed that a total amount of Rs. 15272.72 lakh has been allocated to the Maharashtra state in the current fiscal year to construct permanent shelters.”
According to BGBGA, “In this contest the poor, especially the homeless lag most behind. They are least heard because there is no legislation which ensure them their ‘right to shelter’. This allows Governments to easily shed their responsibly towards its homeless citizens.”
GBGBA demands, “We urge to the Maharashtra government as well as the MCGM to look into the matter with utmost urgency and provide all the possible relief to the homeless living in Mumbai keeping in mind the possible risk to life during rains.”

Comments

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release of 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).