In an attempt to support unemployed youth, school drop-outs, alcohol addicts and others in Kannagi Nagar, the Chennai Police have initiated a development project there in association with NGOs.

Kannagi Nagar is one of several areas to which around several hundred families affected by the tsunami in 2004 were relocated.

According to police sources, about 35,000 persons live in the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board tenements built in Kannagi Nagar and another 15,000 persons were expected to move into the unoccupied flats soon. Of late, the locality had become notorious for anti-social activities. In 2010 alone, 30 suicides and 9 murders were reported in Kannagi Nagar.

Acting on the instructions of the Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran, a special team analysed the problems in the area by interacting with the residents for over a month on various issues.

“Besides inadequate infrastructure, it was found that there are many school dropouts, unemployed men and senior citizens suffering from ailments. Most of the women go to work and return home late. To start with we want to identify the dropouts and send them back to school,” Additional Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) M. Shakeel Akhter said on Saturday.

He said the Mahatma Gandhi Foundation in T. Nagar had agreed to offer vocational courses to youth in Kannagi Nagar.

“They can be accommodated in non-technical jobs in the IT Corridor and other industries along the East Coast Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai. We want to establish a temporary health centre where doctors would visit periodically and attend to the sick and aged people,” he said.

Mr. Shakeel said Kannagi Nagar was a good source of manpower that had to be channelled. A couple of Rotary Clubs had promised to establish Boys Club and Girls Club with facilities such as library, indoor games etc. A de-addiction centre was also planned.

“NGOs will introduce some confidence-building measures that will help mainstream them …they can also contribute to the family,” he said and added that efforts were on to establish basic infrastructure in Kannagi Nagar by coordinating with the authorities concerned.

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