Homelessness is a major issue in India. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines 'homeless' as those who do not live in a regular residence due to lack of adequate housing, safety and availability. The United Nations Economic and Social Council Statement has a broader definition: it defines homelessness as: ‘When we are talking about housing, we are not just talking about four walls and a roof. The right to adequate housing is about security of tenure, affordability, access to services and cultural adequacy. It is about protection from forced eviction and displacement, fighting homelessness, poverty and exclusion.’
India defines 'homeless' as those who do not live in Census houses, but rather stay on pavements, roadsides, railway platforms, staircases, temples, streets, in pipes, or other open spaces. There are 1.77 million homeless people in India, or 0.15% of the country's total population, according to the 2011 Census consisting of single men, women, mothers, the elderly, and the disabled. However, it is argued that the numbers are far greater than accounted by the point in time method.
As per an estimate by ‘Habitat for Humanity’ around 150 million people are homeless worldwide as estimated in 2015. 1.6 billion people around the world live in ‘inadequate shelter’.
Here are 10 countries, ranked by the homeless population, present on any given night. Different countries often use different definitions of homelessness on account of which comparison is complicated.