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Community Development

Corporation to set up night shelters

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The Hindu     13.06.2010

Corporation to set up night shelters

Staff Reporter

For the benefit of those who sleep on pavements

Photo: K. Ganesan

helping hand: Corporation Commissioner Sebastin (right) inspecting a community centre in Madurai.

MADURAI: Madurai Corporation has planned to set up night shelters for the homeless.

The Corporation Commissioner, S. Sebastine, along with officials, inspected a few marriage halls and community halls on Friday.

The Corporation with the assistance of Madurai Institute of Social Sciences has identified 320 persons who do not have home and sleep on pavements in nights.

“Most of them are beggars and remaining others work in small eateries. They too sleep on pavements,” Mr. Sebastine said.

At least three night shelters would be established where these people could sleep without any disturbance. “Besides providing them water, toilet, electricity including fan, we will supply mats and pillows,” he added.

Steps to identify beneficiaries are over.

They would be given photo identity cards.

“Only those with such cards would be allowed to enter the shelters. We are looking up to voluntary organisations to manage the shelters and provide them tea and coffee free of cost,” he said.

Separate enclosures for men and women would be provided.

The shelters would ensure safe roof and improve personal hygiene for the homeless.

“We will prevent open defecation. Many of them do not take regular baths and do not wash their clothes,” he said.

The shelters would become functional in another 10 days.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 June 2010 06:39

Rights union flays Mayor’s rehab drive

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Deccan Chronicle      08.06.2010

Rights union flays Mayor’s rehab drive

June 8th, 2010
DC Correspondent

June 7: The Chennai corporation’s massive drive to “cleanse” the city of beggars has been slammed by a fact finding team led by Prof A. Marx, from the People’s Union for Human Rights (PUHR). The clean-up or Singara Chennai drive has been launched across all 10 zones of the corporation and over 30 beggars have even been picked up.

The PUHR, however, feels that the corporation’s effort is questionable and ambiguous much like the earlier drive against mentally ill persons. “We noticed during the last ‘health drive,’ which was supposed to help mentally ill persons, people who were merely sleeping or loitering on the streets were picked up randomly by the health inspectors. Even those who just looked dirty or a little disoriented were forcibly detained without any proof of them being mentally unstable. No psychiatrists or police were present to verify the same and only the corporation’s employees executed the entire programme,” said members of the team.

The team also said that the corporation’s officials had committed several violations of the Indian Mental Health Act of 1987 that included the absence of a magistrate’s order for the 113 people who were detained at a mental hospital. “Many of these people are sane and healthy but they have been brought to the hospital by force,” said Prof Marx.

According to the corporation’s authorities, after the drive, a total of 121 mentally ill persons were sent to the Kilpauk IMH and 31 people were sent to old-age homes.


Drive to rehabilitate beggars begins

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The Hindu      08.06.2010

Drive to rehabilitate beggars begins

Staff Reporter

— Photo: R. Ragu

SEEKING BASIC NEEDS: Mayor M. Subramanian speaking to a woman before she was taken to a rehabilitation centre.

CHENNAI: The Chennai Corporation on Monday launched a drive to rehabilitate beggars in the city.

Inspecting the rehabilitation initiative, Mayor M. Subramanian said, “They will be monitored by experts and efforts for their rehabilitation will start soon.”

A total of 38 persons found begging were taken to a special ward at the Communicable Diseases Hospital, Tondiarpet, for diagnosis of diseases, treatment and counselling.

The civic body had set June 5 as the deadline for people to stop using children for begging. The gang using children for begging seems to have suspended its operations in the city, said Mr. Subramanian. A total of 18 NGOs in Chennai would share their resources and expertise for the rehabilitation efforts of the civic body.

Rotary Club has promised to sponsor rehabilitation of 200 beggars, said Mr. Subramanian. “These persons will not be allowed to suffer on the streets. We will categorise them according to the findings of doctors. Training and employment opportunities will be made available to young persons among those identified,” he said.

Those who are forced to become beggars receive help from the Corporation with the support of NGOs and other government departments, said Mr. Subramanian.

The civic body would give priority to rehabilitating women carrying babies for begging. The short stay homes under the control of the Central Social Welfare Board would house five women in each of the seven homes.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 June 2010 04:14

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