With a 20 percent rise in the population of homeless people in Karnataka, there are only 11 shelter homes to accommodate them.
According to the 2011 census, the total homeless population of Karnataka has risen by 20 percentsince, reaching now 76,735 persons, and only 11 shelter to provide a roof for them. In Bangaluru, there are five functioning shelter homes, among which one is onthe verge of shutting down.The shelter homes in Karnataka are private and funded by the government. According to the Supreme Court order in 2010, all the state governments should set up shelter homes in towns with the population of more than 100 thousands, and offer with 100 beds.
S Saritha, a manager at Association for Promoting Social Action, a private non-profit NGO, said that, “We have been providing shelter for the underprivileged since a very long time. There are times when there are more people and fewer beds to accommodate them, but we try to help themso that they don’t have to sleep on streets.”
The government funded shelters have a lack of beds and sometimes there is no food served to the people. Kamal, a wage worker, who has slept in one of the shelter homes in Rajaji Nagar, said, “There are 30 beds In this shelter home and they don’t provide us blankets. Sometimes there are 100 people sleeping in one shelter home, and sometimes there are no more than 40.”
There is a family that sleeps on the streets of Banashankari because they don’t feel safe there. They think that women in their family won’t be safe in the shelter homes. “We had gone there once but we didn’t feel safe there so we now sleep on the road.” said Mr Nagapppa, father of two girls.
Sir. K. Mahesh Babu, as member of Bengaluru Bruhat Mahanagar Palike (BBMP) Social Justice and Welfare Standing Committee, stated that, “ We provide money to the shelter homes for proper food and beds. We also have a lot of work to do; we can’t go to each shelter home and check how they are functioning.” He added, “The BBMP is going to set a committee to check the condition of shelter homes soon.”
Owner of the Rajaji Nagar Shelter home, said that, “We don’t get enough money to keep the shelter homes going. A lot of cooks and cleaners have left their jobs because we couldn’t pay them. The NGO’s that were supporting us have also stopped paying.”
An activist said that, “If we consider the population of Karnataka and the Supreme Court judgement, there should have been 100 shelter homes for the homeless as of now. The government must try and build more shelter homes and check those to see if they are functioning properly. The homeless also have a right to be under a roof.”