Homeless community in Chennai lists demands of parties ahead of TN elections

Persons in homeless situations in the city have come forward with a set of demands to be presented to political parties contesting in Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Election, 2021.

The demands were presented during a consultation on emerging needs for an integrated shelter and housing policy for The Urban Homeless in Tamil Nadu organised jointly by the department of social entrepreneurship, Madras School of Social Work and Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC).

One of the main demands was to have a specific policy for the homeless, as the current policy framework of the State government does not incorporate the specific requirements of the urban homeless including access to adequate housing, shelters, protection of livelihood and access to identity documents and social security schemes.

“As of now the homeless are only a small component in Central and State government schemes pertaining to urban development. The government should formulate an ‘Integrated Shelter and Housing Policy for the Urban Homeless’. At present, there is no coordination between government departments working for the welfare of the homeless. This coordination should be a component of the new policy,” said M Antony Stephen, head, department of social entrepreneurship, MSSW.

They also want a special fund, under the existing shelter fund, exclusively for the urban homeless. All corporations/municipalities should establish a special cell to facilitate convergence of schemes and coordination between different departments to ensure access to relevant services and schemes for the urban homeless.

The homeless population also want the government not to resort to forced eviction that violates the right to life and the dignity of the deprived urban communities. “The urban deprived communities should not be resettled to the sites located in the fringes of the city. They should be resettled within 3 km from their place of residence so that their livelihood is safeguarded. Besides 25 per cent of land in every urban space (Municipal Corporations/Town Panchayat) should also be reserved for deprived urban communities,” said Vanessa Peter, from IRCDUC.

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 6:10:35 AM |

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