Homeless people sleeping at corridor of a showroom in Chandigarh. Jasbir Malhi
CHANDIGARH has 2,064 homeless people including 23 women and 2 transgenders. Around 96 per cent of them possess identity proofs like driving licenses, Aadhaar cards, voter cards, according to a nine month-long joint study by Social Welfare Department, MC, and Panjab University (PU), which concluded a fortnight back.
As many as 16.3 per cent (337 out of total) of them stay in Sector 17 followed by Sector 22, which houses 14.5 per cent (299) homeless people. Sector 7 has 5.2 per cent (108) homeless people. Maximum homeless people are working as labourers (683), followed by rickshaw-pullers (378) and auto drivers (204).
Department of Statistics of PU, hired around one dozen professional surveyers, for conducting the study. At least 37.2 percent (767) homeless people are illiterate, 11.4 percent (235) can read and write, 15.5 percent (319) have passed primary classes, and 1.4 percent (28) were graduates. As many as 1,436 homeless people were found married, 621 were unmarried, 3 divorced and four deserted in the survey.
The study says, “95.7 percent (1,975) homeless people are in good health, 1.6 percent (34) are differently-abled, 0.6 percent (12) are mentally- challenged. Two homeless persons were found infected with HIV positive.
As many as 1,563 homeless people out of 2,064, are from Uttar Pradesh and 363 from Bihar. The others are from Uttarakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. 14 homeless people are from Nepal.” Development Officer with Centre of Social Work, Vivek Trivedi, said, “Different aspects about the homeless people were emerged in the study. People staying in Sector 17, Sector 22 in the the markets and outside the showrooms also work as the watchmen for these showrooms. The owners of these showrooms allowed them to sleep in front of their shops and properties which helped them to ensure security. It was not easy to extract information from the homeless people.”
In order to avoid repetition of names, the surveyers used biometric machines for taking finger impression of all the counted homeless people.