Rapid survey identifies 378 destitutes last night
Mysore/Mysuru: While the State Government is actively implementing various schemes aimed at providing shelter to the homeless, a significant number of individuals still lack proper accommodation. For them, the sidewalks and storefronts serve as makeshift shelter at night.
In a rapid survey conducted by the Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Officials and Officers and staff from Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM), in collaboration with various NGOs last night, a total of 378 destitute individuals were identified within the jurisdiction of the MCC in different parts of the city.
The survey commenced at 10:30 pm and continued until 2 am with a continuation planned for tonight. The MCC has been conducting such surveys frequently. A previous survey on Dec. 29, 2022, identified 78 destitutes, while 124 homeless individuals were identified on Dec. 31, 2022. Of the 78 destitutes, 62 were men and 16 were women. Of the 124, total 97 were men and 27 were women.
Data from the MCC indicates that while 202 homeless individuals were identified at the end of 2022, the current count stands at 378 after the first day of the survey on Sept. 13, 2023, with one more day of the survey remaining. The exact number of male and female destitutes will be determined after the survey concludes tonight.
Last night’s survey was led by MCC Commissioner Ashaad-ur-Rahman Shariff, Addl. Commissioner M.J. Roopa, Asst. Commissioners, Development Officers, Environment Engineers, Health Inspectors and Supervisors from MCC Zonal Offices.
They were assisted by the jurisdictional Police and several NGOs. All destitutes identified fell within the age group of 20 to 65.
The survey brought to light heart-wrenching cases of families abandoning their elders. A 56-year-old man sleeping near Apollo BGS Hospital compound revealed that he had been abandoned by his son and daughter, despite his daughter earning a substantial monthly salary at a prominent IT company, and his son working as a Government Officer.
Another woman, who was found sleeping near the MUDA Office, was homeless with her 20-year-old daughter after being expelled from their home by her son following her husband’s death. She explained that her 30-year-old son worked in a private company with a good salary and social standing.
Despite chilly weather and cold winds, these individuals are forced to spend the night in harsh conditions. The survey also highlighted the dire circumstances of disabled and elderly individuals among them.
Following the identification of destitutes, MCC will categorise them based on their needs and health issues and arrange for them to be sent to destitute homes and beggars’ shelters.
While there is a separate Ashraya Shelter Home for Destitute Men on Sheshadri Iyer Road, women lack a dedicated facility, as the MCC’s plan to build a shelter for them remains on paper. Although officers mention plans being put into action, there has been no progress thus far.
Additional MCC Commissioner M.J. Roopa stated that they are in the process of establishing Shelter for Urban Homeless at a couple of locations, with work orders issued for the construction of four such facilities. A shelter home for destitute women near Devaraj Urs Road was previously set up by MCC but was discontinued due to dilapidation of the building and declining number of women destitutes.
The survey is being conducted with the assistance of NGOs, including Credit-I, volunteers from Nehru Yuva Kendra, JMJ Charitable Trust, Janajagruthi Samajika Vedike, Madilu Gramabhivuddhi Samsthe, Panchayat Raj Gramabhivuddhi and Farmers Service organisation, Aadhya Charitable Trust, Organisation for Development of People (ODP) and Rural Literacy and Health Programme (RLHP).