70 per cent homeless in three big Tamil Nadu cities live as families: Study
Eighty four per cent of the surveyed homeless households in Chennai, 52 per cent of households in Coimbatore and 33 per cent in Madurai do not have ration cards, the study said.
CHENNAI: Around 70 per cent of the homeless units surveyed in three districts – Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore – were found to be living as families, according to the preliminary findings of a recent study. However, there are no State-run family shelters in Tamil Nadu, the study said.
The survey of 862 units consisting of a total 2,329 individuals was carried out as part of a national initiative to enable inclusive cities for the urban homeless by Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), Chennai Uravugal Social Welfare Truss (USWT), Chennai, Nizhalgal Social Welfare Trust, Coimbatore and Gurusamy Rights and Development Education (GRADE) Trust, Madurai.
“There are no family shelters in the State. The State government needs to set up adequate family shelters within a three-km distance from their places of livelihoods/habitation as per the NULM (National Urban Livelihoods Mission) guidelines and ensure housing continuum,” said Vanessa Peter of IRCDUC.
While 26 per cent of the respondents surveyed in Chennai stated the cause of homelessness to be family conflicts and 25 per cent of respondents in Coimbatore said they were homeless because of migration and displacement, in a trend that was unique to Coimbatore, 3% of the respondents attributed homelessness to ‘caste and communal issues’.
“When they say caste and communal issues, what we found is that it is because they feel threatened for they belong to a certain caste or religion and run away from the settlements,” said a member of IRCDUC.
The study also found that 79 per cent of the urban homeless in Chennai belong to the SC/ST communities. “In Coimbatore, 49 per cent of the urban homeless are SC/STs and in Madurai, 32 per cent of the urban homeless are SC/STs. In Chennai, five per cent of the urban homeless and in Coimbatore eight per cent of the urban homeless did not know their caste,” it stated.
Eighty four per cent of the surveyed homeless households in Chennai, 52 per cent of households in Coimbatore and 33 per cent in Madurai do not have ration cards, the study said. However, in contrast, 98 per cent of the homeless households in Madurai and 84 per cent of the homeless households in Chennai have access to voter ID cards.
Courtesy: The New Indian Express