Hyderabad: Homeless beggars shifted to rehabilitation centre

GHMC along with Habeen Nagar police officials shifting beggars from Nampally Dargah to shelter home
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GHMC along with Habeen Nagar police officials shifting beggars from Nampally Dargah to shelter home 

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Kukatpally : With Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) starting the anti-beggars drive in the city, homeless persons are being picked up from...

Kukatpally : With Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) starting the anti-beggars drive in the city, homeless persons are being picked up from roadsides and being shifted to rehabilitation centres, though it was announced by the municipal commissioner that these beggars or homeless would be shifted to the shelter homes set up by the GHMC.

Activists have pointed out that rehabilitation centres lack basic facilities like proper food, sanitation and clothes as they are run mostly run by Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) which need funds. Whereas the GHMC shelter homes have all the facilities like television, beds, proper washrooms, toilets, mattresses, blankets and drinking water.

In the Kukatpally zone, 15 special teams were formed who have picked up a total of 44 beggars in eight days (From January 9 to 16). With no GHMC shelter homes in the entire zone, the teams have shifted the beggars to a rehabilitation centre. The 44 beggars include 13 from Moosapet, 5 from Kukatpally, 13 from Qutbhulapur, nine from Gajularamaram and four from Alwal circles.

In 2019, the GHMC had set up around 18 shelter homes in the city for the homeless and announced that more will be set up. In December 2020, the municipal corporation issued instructions to all zonal offices to identify more locations and set up more temporary shelters for accommodating the needy especially the old-aged. But, till date only 18 shelter home have been made operational by the authorities.

Demanding more shelter homes with basic facilities, Mohammed Minhaj, a social activist, said, "In 2017 when Ivanka Trump visited Hyderabad, the city's police force put around 6,000 beggars in rehabilitation centres.

After Ivanka left, they all were released. Those beggars started their habit of begging on the city roads again. Now, GHMC has started the second drive and shifting all the homeless and beggars to rehabilitation centres."

A GHMC official on the condition of anonymity said that no basic facilities are being provided to beggars. They are just being transferred from roads to a temporary shelter. There are no arrangements of food and clothes.

During COVID-19 pandemic followed by lockdown the state government promised taking care of the homeless as they were living on roads and were more vulnerable to contracting infections.

The GHMC, then shifted all the homeless including migrant workers to the temporary shelter homes set up in the city at various public parks, schools, and stadiums. Later, after unlocking, they were again released, and one can see them at traffic signals now.

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