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Few takers for Night Shelters in Hyderabad

Few takers for Night Shelters in Hyderabad
Highlights

The homeless are ready to bear the chill but are unwilling to use the 12 night shelters being run for them in the city. In most of the night shelters the occupancy is less than 50 per cent. For instance, the women centre run by Bharathi Mahila Sangam at L B Nagar has just nine inmates as against the capacity of 50.

The homeless are ready to bear the chill but are unwilling to use the 12 night shelters being run for them in the city. In most of the night shelters the occupancy is less than 50 per cent. For instance, the women centre run by Bharathi Mahila Sangam at L B Nagar has just nine inmates as against the capacity of 50. Another exclusive one earmarked for women at Kamala Nagar Community hall in Golnaka, has only 15 inmates, which is half its capacity.

Social scientists point out that providing infrastructure for the homeless is only part of the problem. Many required to be counseled on the need to join the social mainstream, which is time consuming. Indira of Aman Vedika, an NGO that runs two shelters for men and women at Bible House and Namalgundu respectively says, “Many are addicted to drugs, alcohol and other substances.

Although it is quite a job to rehabilitate them, a breakthrough has been achieved with some taking up employment. Two women were given jobs in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) house-keeping section on a contract basis.” Out of the 335 capacity in the ten night shelters in the city the average occupancy is 193. Two night shelters at Kapra and Serlingampally were closed down last year for want of people.

Shelters at 7 hospitals

Whilst there are no takers for night shelters in the city, a survey conducted by the GHMC shows that many people especially those accompanying patients have no provision in hospitals.

The GHMC is building seven night shelters at Osmania General Hospital, Government ENT Hospital, Koti, Government Maternity Hospital, Koti, NIMS, Gandhi Hospital, Niloufer Hospital and Maternity Hospital, Petlaburz.

The homeless use bus shelters for the night despite the presence of night shelters

R Dhan Singh, Engineer-in-chief, GHMC said, “The tender process is underway and approval for three night shelters at Gandhi Hospital, Maternity Hospital, Petlaburz and Government Maternity Hospital, Koti are completed and the remaining four are in the final stages.”

According to the GHMC survey about 6440 attendants to patients sleep in the open in the major government hospitals in the city. D Jayaraj Kennedy, Additional Commissioner, (UCD) says, “There night shelters at the government hospitals would be used to optimum levels. Many attendants come from far away villages.”

By:T P Venu

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