Thousands of homeless people will be left trembling on the streets when the skies open up during the north-east monsoon, say activists.
The corporation has readied new shelters for the homeless in 12 public hospitals and work on the city’s first facility for transgender people is also complete.
These shelters were to be inaugurated by chief minister J Jayalalithaa, but as she is hospitalised, officials are contemplating whether or not to throw open the doors in her absence.
From 28 shelters last year, the civic body now maintains 38 round-the clock shelters. The corporation has been steadily increasing the number to meet the basic requirement set by the Supreme Court, which is 75 shelters for Chennai.
With no official count of the city’s homeless, activists go by an approximate number of people who are found in places such as Thiruvottiyur, Manali, Mad havaram, Royapuram, Thiru-vi-ka Nagar and Teynampet.
“There cannot be less than 50,000 homeless people in the city,“ says R Geetha, adviser to the Unorganised Workers Federation.
“The biggest issue is that there aren’t adequate shelters and the existing ones have very few family shelters as the corporation has made them separately for men and women,“ she said.“We will require a minimum of 80 shelters. When it rains, people sleep in railway stations, under flyovers, concrete gables of buildings or in temporary shelters that the government and its agencies set up to prepare for the monsoon.“
dinathanthi newspaper 18/11/2016 : http://www.dinathanthiepaper.in/firstpage.aspx