67 years of Independence & still India is home of Homeless people
After 67 years of Independence today India is still considered as a developing country, lakhs of people in India are homeless, living without shelter in unhygienic condition and surrounding. On another hand India’s economy is growing, India is home of 70
On 15th August 2014, India celebrated its 68th Independence Day completing 67 years of freedom, but have we actually got freedom? After completing 67 years of Independence still many Indians are homeless in the country, lakhs of people are still deprived of the most and much basic need that is shelter. This raises many questions like, have we really achieved freedom? Has the country progressed in this many years? What has government done for poor homeless people in so many years? What is Homelessness? According to Census definition, houseless households are those which do not live in buildings but stay in open or roadside, railway platforms, under flyovers, etc. Homelessness is the condition and social category of people who lack housing, because they cannot afford, or are otherwise unable to maintain, a regular, safe, and adequate shelter. A homeless person is defined into three categories. In general it is said about an individual who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and an individual who has a primary nighttime residence. Homelessness in India As per the census of 2011, in India, 9,38,348 homeless people are living in urban areas of the country including 46,724 in the National Capital Territory of Delhi. People living in open areas like pavements, railway platforms, hume pipes, under flyovers and open spaces near temples are described as homeless. It is estimated that one in every 100 people in India's cities is homeless. Total urban and rural population is still 1.77 million people living without houses in India in 2011. However, the number of homeless people in India declined in 2011 even as families with no homes saw a rise in numbers.
However, there was a pick up in the number of homeless households as 0.449 million families in 2011 were without any shelter compared to 0.447 million households in 2001. But the share of such families compared to total families in the country declined from 0.23% in 2001 to 0.18% in 2011.
In absolute terms, urban population saw a rise in homeless population from 7.78 lakh people in 2001 to 9.38 lakh people in 2011, but rural areas witnessed a decline from 11.6 lakh people to 8.34 lakh people. However, Uttar Pradesh had the highest proportion of homeless people in the country. Of the total homeless, 18.56% was in in UP, followed by Maharashtra (11.9%) and Rajasthan (10.24%).
Homelessness in rural areas is mirrored by an almost equal rise in urban areas. As the homeless declined by about 66,000 households in rural areas, it went up by about 69,000 households in urban areas, recording a growth rate of 20.5% as against a decline of 28.4% in rural areas.
Factors Contributing to Homelessness
A wide array of factors contribute to homelessness, but they can be thought of as falling into one of two categories: structural problems and individual factors that increase vulnerability. Structural problems 1. Lack of affordable housing
2. Changes in the industrial economy leading to unemployment
3. Inadequate income supports the de-institutionalization of patients with mental health problems and the erosion of family and social support. Fac- tors that increase an individual's vulnerability
4. Physical or mental illness 5. Disability 6. Substance abuse 7. Domestic violence 8. Job loss Reducing homelessness will mean addressing issues such as these.
Since homelessness is a phrase in which a broad range of people and circumstances are concerned. Factors that contribute to homelessness are also broad. They include
1. Poverty- Homelessness and poverty are attached together. Poor people are not in a position to pay for housing, food, child care, health care, and education.
2. Drug Addiction- Data indicates that alcohol and drug abuse are excessively high among the homeless inhabitants. People who are poor and addicted are obviously at augmented risk of homelessness.
3. War- It causes unexpected homelessness. People who are in a good position suddenly loose their home due to battle among countries.
4. Overcrowding and harassment by landlords.
5. Unhealthy relationships between young people and their parents or guardians. 6. Unemployment. 7. Divorce- Anyone in a family whether mother, father or child can become homeless due to separation. Single parents with dependent children are mostly at risk of homelessness.
8. Natural disaster- Cy- clone, Tsunami and other calamities totally destroy the region. The homes are destroyed and families gets dislocated. Government’s Initiatives To eradicate the homelessness government has initiated many schemes and are working on new concepts like, the Technical Group constituted by Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation in 2006 to assess the housing shortage in the country, had estimated that at the beginning of 11th Five Year Plan (2007-12), the housing shortage in the country was 24.71 million.
The Technical Group on Urban Housing Shortage for the 12th Plan (TG-12) in the context of the strategy of inclusive development in the Twelfth Plan, addressing the problem of mismatch between suppliers of housing and those needing them and bringing down the housing shortage has estimated the urban housing shortage as 18.78 million at the beginning of the 12th Plan Period i.e. 2012.
The Minister further ‘Land’ and ‘Colonization’ are State subjects; therefore it is the primary responsibility of State Governments to provide affordable houses to all citizens. However, in order to complement and supplement the indicatives of State Governments and to incentivize and promote the construction of houses, the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation has been implementing various housing schemes like:
(i) Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) with its two submission viz., Basic Services to the Urban Poor (BSUP) and Integrated Housing & Slum Development Programme (IHSDP);
( ii) Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY);
( iii) Interest Subsidy Scheme for Housing the Urban Poor (ISHUP);
(iv) Affordable Housing in Partnership (AHP); and
These schemes coupled with other macro economic policies and with the involvement of State Governments, Banks and other Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs) have resulted in reduction of housing shortage in the country.
But thus schemes can be proven effective, are they showing the desired outcome?