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Sensational Need For Shelter Homes Harboring Hope: A Shelter Home In The Heart Of Humanity

This paper aims to outline a comprehensive legal framework to tackle homelessness, focusing on rain basera shelters, societal impacts, awareness, judicial approaches, and government notifications. It emphasizes the need to address homelessness as a human rights issue, proposing reforms based on existing laws, policies, and judicial decisions. Drawing on international standards, it recommends measures for prevention, housing access, and support services to uphold the rights and dignity of homeless individuals.

Consequently, there exists a need for a systematic study of the subject.

Statement of Problem
There's a critical need for shelter homes due to a growing demand fueled by factors such as economic hardship, natural disasters, and systemic failures. It emphasizes the urgent requirement for immediate relief and assistance for marginalized populations facing homelessness, stemming from rising housing costs, inadequate social support, and unforeseen crises. Without prompt intervention, these vulnerable groups face exposure to harsh conditions, safety risks, and declining health, underscoring the necessity for comprehensive solutions to address homelessness and uphold basic human rights.

Literature Review:
Case laws:
People's Union for Civil Liberties vs. Union of India & Ors. [PUCL vs Union of India] [9]case, known as the "Night Shelter Matters," is a significant legal battle in India focusing on homeless individuals' fundamental rights, particularly the right to shelter. Scholars highlight judicial activism in protecting these rights, expanding the legal framework, and influencing policy. Discussions emphasize addressing intersectional vulnerabilities, critiquing implementation challenges, and conducting comparative analyses. Overall, the literature underscores the importance of judicial intervention in advancing human rights, while recognizing the complexities in translating court decisions into practical outcomes.

B.B. Pande, The Constitutionality of Basic Human Needs: An Ignored Area of Legal Discourse[10]

(Pande, 1989)sheds light on the overlooked aspect of constitutional protection for basic human needs. Pande critiques the existing legal framework for its lack of explicit acknowledgment of these needs and calls for a rights-based approach. Through comparative analysis, Pande highlights policy implications and advocates for interdisciplinary dialogue to ensure the realization of fundamental human rights.

Debanjana Nag, Shelter Homes and Elderly Women: A Case Study of Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh[11]

Debanjana Nag's article examines the experiences of elderly women in shelter homes in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. It discusses their vulnerability and the need for social support, outlines the study's methodology and findings, and explores intersectional perspectives. The article suggests policy implications and recommendations for improving the well-being of elderly women in shelter homes, contributing to the literature on gender, aging, and social welfare.

Law Commission of India's Report No. 138, "Legislative Protection for Slum and Pavement Dwellers" (December 1990), addresses the legal framework for marginalized urban populations. It contextualizes rapid urbanization, identifies challenges like inadequate housing, and proposes legislative measures. Scholars assess policy implications, community perspectives, and long-term impacts, emphasizing the need for sustained advocacy for social justice in India's urban governance.

The sensational need for shelter homes is driven by a combination of socio-economic factors, including rising housing costs, inadequate social support systems, and systemic failures in addressing homelessness, leading to an increasing demand for temporary housing and support services among marginalized populations.

Objective of Study:

  • To investigate the relationship between rising housing costs and the demand for shelter homes among marginalized populations.
  • To assess the adequacy of existing social support systems in addressing the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness.
  • To examine systemic failures in current approaches to addressing homelessness and their impact on the demand for shelter homes.
  • To explore the experiences and perspectives of marginalized populations regarding their access to and utilization of shelter homes.
  • To identify potential strategies and policy interventions to address the sensational need for shelter homes and mitigate the underlying socio-economic factors contributing to homelessness.

Research Questions:

  • What is the correlation between the increase in housing costs and the rise in demand for shelter homes among marginalized populations?
  • How effective are current social support systems in meeting the needs of individuals experiencing homelessness?
  • What specific systemic failures exist within current approaches to addressing homelessness, and how do they influence the demand for shelter homes?
  • What are the lived experiences and perspectives of marginalized populations regarding their access to and utilization of shelter homes?
  • What potential strategies and policy interventions can be implemented to alleviate the sensational need for shelter homes and address the socio-economic factors contributing to homelessness?

Research Methodology

The research intends to adopt empirical as well as doctrinal method to study. The nature of research is intended to be descriptive and analytical. Data for study will be gathered from both primary sources, such as textbooks, journals, articles and by a survey, both online and offline.

Scope and Limitation of the Study:

Scope: This study aims to comprehensively examine the factors contributing to the pressing demand for shelter homes, including socio-economic challenges, systemic failures, and societal impacts on homelessness. Limitation: The study may face limitations in fully capturing the nuances and complexities of the sensational need for shelter homes due to the multifaceted nature of homelessness and potential difficulties in accessing comprehensive data on marginalized populations. Additionally, the study's findings and recommendations may be influenced by political, cultural, and contextual factors, which could impact the feasibility and implementation of proposed interventions. Introduction
A Persons' Dignity Lies In The Place Where He Lives�

Shelter homes are made for the poor but they squander as junk.

In contemporary society, homelessness persists as a pressing issue affecting individuals across diverse socio-economic backgrounds. It encompasses various forms and requires an understanding of its complex dynamics, including its underlying causes and societal implications.

This chapter aims to provide an overview of homelessness, highlighting the importance of investigating housing costs and shelter home demand. Basic necessities like food, water, and shelter are essential for survival.

However, many individuals lack access to these necessities, forced to sleep on footpaths, drink dirty water, and scavenge for food. Despite government initiatives and efforts by NGOs, homelessness remains a significant challenge with dire consequences, especially during harsh weather conditions.

What are shelter homes?
To understand the stance of shelter homes in India it is important to understand the true meaning of shelter homes. By the Oxford English definition, the meaning of shelter is "A place giving temporary protection from bad weather or danger." By the Merriam-Webster dictionary meaning shelter means "something that covers or affords protection." This suggests that the concept of shelter homes was built to afford care and protection to those distressed or underprivileged from an unfavorable environment.

Homelessness In India: - Nature And Scope

Vagrancy is a significant issue in India. The Widespread Revelation of Common freedoms characterizes 'destitute' as the individuals who do not live in a standard home because of an absence of sufficient lodging, wellbeing, and availability. The Unified Countries Financial and Social Committee Articulation have a more extensive definition for vagrancy; it characterizes vagrancy as follows:
'When we are looking at lodging, we are not simply discussing four dividers and a rooftop. The right to satisfactory lodging is about the security of residency, reasonableness, admittance to administrations, and social ampleness.

It is about insurance from constrained removal and relocation, battling vagrancy, destitution, and exclusion. India characterizes 'destitute' as the individuals who don't reside in Statistics houses, yet rather stay on asphalts, side of the road, rail line stages, flights of stairs, sanctuaries, roads, pipes, or other open spaces. There are 1.77 million vagrants in India, or 0.15% of the nation's aggregate populace, as per the 2011 evaluation comprising of single men, ladies, moms, the older, and the disabled.

Nonetheless, it is contended that the numbers are far more prominent than accounted by the point in time technique. For instance, while the Registration of 2011 included 46.724 destitute people in Delhi, the Indo-Worldwide Social Help Society counted them to be 88,410, and another association called the Delhi Advancement Authority counted them to be 150,000. Besides, there is a high extent of deranged and road kids in the destitute population.

There are 18 million road kids in India, the biggest number of any country on the planet, with 11 million being urban. At long last, multiple million people are destitute in India's capital city of New Delhi; the equivalent populace in Canada would make up around 30 constituent areas. A group of four individuals has a normal of five destitute ages in India. There is a lack of 18.78 million houses in the country. The outnumber of houses has expanded from 52.06 million to 78.48 million (according to 2011 evaluation).

Notwithstanding, the nation actually positions as the 124th richest country on the planet as of 2003. In excess of 90 million individuals in India make not exactly US$1 each day, subsequently setting them underneath the worldwide neediness limit. The capacity of the public authority of India to handle metropolitan vagrancy and neediness might be impacted in the future by both outside and inward factors.

The quantity of individuals living in ghettos in India has dramatically increased previously twenty years and presently surpasses the whole populace of England, the Indian Government has announced. Around 78 million individuals in India live in ghettos and tenements. 17% of the world's ghetto occupants' dwell in India. Resulting to the arrival of Slumdog Mogul in 2008, Mumbai was a ghetto vacationer location for slumming where vagrants and ghetto inhabitants the same could be straightforwardly seen by tourists.

The Census of India 2011 defines 'houseless household' as, 'households who do not live in buildings or census houses but live in the open on roadside, pavements, in hume pipes, under flyovers and staircases, or in the open in places of worship, mandaps, railway platforms, etc.'.

According to the Census of 2011, India has more than 1.7 million homeless residents, of which 938,384 are located in urban areas. These figures, however, grossly underestimate the real numbers of the homeless. Civil society organizations estimate that at least one per cent of the population of urban India is homeless. Based on this, it can be extrapolated that the population of the urban homeless is at least 3 million. In the capital city of Delhi alone, at any given point, civil society estimates place the number of homeless at around 150,000 - 200,000, of which at least 10,000 are women. India also has the highest number of street children in the world but there is no official data on their numbers or adequate schemes to respond to their special needs and concerns.

Estimated Number of Homeless People in Different Cities across India
  • Delhi: 150,000 - 200,000
  • Chennai: 40,000 - 50,000
  • Mumbai: 200,000 (including Navi Mumbai)
  • Indore: 10,000 - 12,000
  • Vishakhapatnam: 18,000
  • Bangalore: 40,000 - 50,000
  • Hyderabad: 60,000
  • Ahmedabad: 100,000
  • Patna: 25,000
  • Kolkata: 150,000
  • Lucknow: 19,000

[ Source: Independent estimates from organizations working on homelessness][12]

Homelessness is in part a direct result of families migrating from pastoral to civic metropolises and urbanization. Migration to civic areas can do for a variety of reasons ranging from loss of land, need for sustainable employment, lack of clean water and other offers, and in some cases like the. Bargi Dam Project, loss of all property, and complete relegation. Once reaching metropolises, homeless. attempt to produce harbors out of drum, cardboard, wood, and plastic.

Slums can give an escape, yet. individualities frequently can't go them. Individualities passing homelessness may witness abuse, maltreatment, and lack of access to seminaries and healthcare. Some other problems leading to homelessness include disability (either internal, physical, or both). lack of affordable casing (an introductory apartment in India costs roughly US$ 70 per month, severance (either seasonal or through profitable rigors), and changes in assiduity. Dereliction of the old, mentally ill, unattached pregnant women, helpless separated women, and girl children also. are some of the main causes of homelessness in India.

Jobs involving heavy assiduity and manufacturing (that bear only a high academy position of education) are being replaced by service assiduity jobs (which may or may not bear an advanced position of education). Since the university is less affordable for the average Indian than it's for the average North American or European citizen due to their lower per capita income position, further people in India are, getting employable for the jobs of the 21st century.

The average per capita income for a citizen of India is slightly further than US$; compared to US$ in Canada and further than US$ in, Switzerland. Policymakers attribute the following factors as the main causes of homelessness substance use, internal illness, relationship failures, and domestic abuse. These place responsibility and blame directly on the homeless. Programs related to the deinstitutionalization of care for mentally ill people and the Posterior abandonment of a family member with internal illness by the family have also increased the number of people living without a roof over their heads.

Street Children
A group of children by the fireside, living a life they never envisioned with a future that looks ever so grim without any helping hand from the administration.

Street children fall under the broader order of children in especially delicate circumstances (CEDC) and are considered the most hovered of all children in CEDC. It's estimated that there are further than road children in India. According to UNICEF, road children can be. broken up into four sections at-threat children who live with family but work on the thoroughfares for income, children who primarily stay on the road but have some hearthstone with family, children who spend utmost of their lives on the road and don't live with or contact family, and eventually abandoned children. who is on their own with no adult numbers? Children flee homes of poverty, violence, oppression, and exploitation and ultimately live on the thoroughfares.

Children are frequently privy to exploitation and physical and internal abuse due to domestic stress, depression, and inordinate alcohol use. When they run down from their families to find a better life, children face Harlotry and physical labor. Children as youthful as 6 sift through scrap seeking plutocrat to buy food. Likewise, children live on the thoroughfares as a result of urbanization, poverty, severance, alcoholic families, the death of parents, bad connections with new parents, and medicine. use. Street children frequently have bad performance and geste issues in the academy and may ultimately drop out, leading to low knowledge. They're stripped of their right to education and recreation. (8)

This ties into a cycle immortalizing poverty and homelessness. Street children have further physical and internal health issues than non-street children. Assuming children will ask for backhanders, hospitals hesitate services, increase prices, or refuse them proper care. These issues can beget road children to come depressed or asocial with negative approaches to life. Road children suffer from multiple forms of abuse. Utmost experience verbal and cerebral abuse, some experience general abuse and neglect, smaller suffer from health abuse and a small. the number from physical (including sexual) abuse.

Data shows that high situations of one type of abuse are identified with high situations of another, with the quantum of abuse adding with age and income. Frequently, abuse comes from police or manipulative employers and occupations. Also, studies show that boys are more crushed than girls on the thoroughfares.

Eventually, abuse can stem from children with. scale on the thoroughfares. Members of a group help cover each other to survive. Still, aged. member frequently abuses the young children. Homelessness and poverty are the main causes of child labor in India. Census 2011 reported that there nearly 43.5 lakh children progressed 5 - 14 times work to support themselves and their families. According to UNICEF, nearly 12 of all of India's children are sloggers. In numerous cases, poor parents. have no choice but to shoot their children to work in unsafe and dangerous conditions.

Challenges Faced By The Homeless

One challenge the homeless face is the attainability to harbors. Although harbors are available for the homeless in certain metropolises, numerous homeless people choose to not use them and live on the thoroughfares rather due to colorful different reasons. One reason is that homeless individuals who are affected by mobility issues can't access them and are doubtful about how harbors serve. Another is that occasionally harbors are located in unobtainable areas and have a disguised armature and poor layouts of the innards".

Harbors frequently warrant backing and offer to make them more seductive for the homeless population. Harbors also demand a small figure per night, incontinently rendering them inapproachable to numerous homeless. The homeless may view harbors as crowded spaces with poor sanitation where medicine addicts and stealers may also take a retreat. Occasionally harbors do not allow individuals to bring particular things with them which is another factor that discourages homeless individuals from using the harbors.

Likewise, sanctum officers, directors, and caretakers aren't incentivized to keep the harbors clean and welcoming. Temporary harbors also run the threat of being demolished and frequently force the homeless to change their position of stay. Another challenge faced by the homeless is exposure to extreme rainfall in summer and downtime. A sturdy plant that between January 2005 and December 2009, seven homeless individualities passed down every day in Delhi.

Their deaths weren't recorded by the police and they also didn't admit a Burial. Homeless people also suffer from bad health and extremely limited access to medical installations. Some of the reasons include lack of proper identity documents needed by medical installations, cost, and the inclination of health care providers to outright reject them. In 2010, the UNDP India conducted a check that plant that only about 3 of the homeless people held an identity ID or ration card.

A Growing Concern
An adding number of settlers looking for employment and better living norms are snappily joining India's homeless population. Although non-governmental organizations are helping to relieve the homelessness extremity in India, these organizations aren't enough to break the entire problem. Attempts at gentrifying India's problematic neighborhoods are also bringing homelessness situations up. Laws passed by the Municipal Corporation of Mumbai during the 1970s and the 1980s were held by the Indian Courts to be violations of people's right to life in addition to their right to a decent livelihood. A corner case in 1986, still, would affect in the favor of the homeless millions of India. The first decade of the 21st century would see people demurred out of Sanjay Gandhi National Park with the government using a massive military force of copters and heavily fortified police officers.

The shelter homes should provide all the facilities like water, food, electricity, first aid, rehabilitation toilet, bathrooms, blankets, etc. The government should make sure that these shelter homes are located on main roads so that these shelter homes are easy to find. There should also be a proper board displaying the name of the shelter homes so that they could easily be traced. Government should also assure safety and security for people who come to five the government should make more people aware of the fact that living in rain basera based is safer than living along the roads and on footpaths.

As we embark on a deeper exploration of homelessness, it becomes evident that its resolution requires a multifaceted approach encompassing economic, social, and policy dimensions. By elucidating the background and context of homelessness and emphasizing the importance of investigating housing costs and shelter home demand, this study aims to contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of this complex societal issue. Through concerted efforts and evidence-based interventions, we can strive towards building inclusive communities where everyone has access to safe and stable housing.

Relationship Between Housing Costs And Shelter Home Demand

Understanding the intricate relationship between housing costs and shelter home demand is crucial for devising effective strategies to combat homelessness. This chapter delves into data analysis and trends, correlation analysis, and geographic considerations to elucidate the complex dynamics at play.

Importance Of Investigating Housing Costs And Shelter Home Demand

Central to the discourse on homelessness is the examination of housing affordability and the availability of shelter options. Rising housing costs in urban centers, coupled with stagnant wages, have rendered housing unattainable for many individuals and families, pushing them towards precarious living situations or outright homelessness. Investigating the dynamics of housing costs elucidates the structural inequalities and systemic barriers contributing to housing insecurity.

Moreover, understanding the demand for shelter homes provides insights into the scale and scope of homelessness within communities. By assessing the utilization rates of existing shelters and projecting future needs, policymakers can tailor interventions to address gaps in service provision and ensure equitable access to housing assistance.

The investigation of housing costs and shelter home demand is paramount in addressing the multifaceted issue of homelessness.

Firstly, examining housing costs sheds light on the structural inequalities and systemic barriers that contribute to housing insecurity. In many urban centers, housing costs have been steadily rising while wages have remained stagnant, making it increasingly difficult for individuals and families to afford stable housing. As a result, many people are forced to allocate a significant portion of their income towards housing expenses, leaving them vulnerable to financial instability and housing instability. Investigating the dynamics of housing costs helps policymakers understand the root causes of housing affordability challenges and develop targeted interventions to address them. This might include initiatives such as rent control, affordable housing developments, or subsidies for low-income households.

Furthermore, understanding the demand for shelter homes provides crucial insights into the scale and scope of homelessness within communities. By assessing the utilization rates of existing shelters and projecting future needs, policymakers can better allocate resources and tailor interventions to address gaps in service provision. For example, if there is a significant increase in demand for shelter beds during certain seasons or in specific geographic areas, policymakers can work to expand shelter capacity in those areas or implement alternative solutions such as temporary housing vouchers or rapid rehousing programs. Additionally, understanding the demographics and needs of individuals experiencing homelessness can inform the development of targeted support services and programs to help them transition out of homelessness and into stable housing.

In summary, investigating housing costs and shelter home demand is essential for developing effective strategies to address homelessness. By understanding the underlying factors contributing to housing insecurity and the specific needs of individuals experiencing homelessness, policymakers can work towards creating more equitable and inclusive communities where everyone has access to safe and stable housing.

Data Analysis And Trends:
Comprehensive data analysis is indispensable for gaining insights into the relationship between housing costs and shelter home demand. By examining longitudinal data sets, researchers can identify trends over time, such as fluctuations in housing prices, shifts in demographics of individuals experiencing homelessness, and changes in shelter utilization rates. Analyzing data from various sources, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, and academic research, provides a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing homelessness dynamics.

Data analysis and trends are fundamental tools for understanding the complex relationship between housing costs and shelter home demand. Through comprehensive examination of longitudinal data sets, researchers can glean valuable insights into the evolving dynamics of homelessness and its correlation with housing affordability.

This process involves several key components:
  1. Longitudinal Analysis: Longitudinal analysis involves studying data over an extended period to identify patterns and trends. By tracking housing costs, shelter utilization rates, and demographic shifts over time, researchers can discern long-term trends and fluctuations in homelessness dynamics. For example, they may observe how changes in economic conditions, housing policies, or social factors influence homelessness rates and shelter demand over the years.
  2. Fluctuations in Housing Prices: Analyzing housing prices and rental rates is crucial for understanding housing affordability challenges. Researchers examine trends in housing costs across different regions and housing markets, identifying areas where affordability is particularly strained. By monitoring fluctuations in housing prices, researchers can assess the impact on individuals' ability to secure stable housing and the risk of homelessness within communities.
  3. Shifts in Demographics: Understanding the demographics of individuals experiencing homelessness is essential for developing targeted interventions and support services. Data analysis allows researchers to identify demographic trends, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and household composition, among those accessing shelter services. By tracking demographic shifts over time, researchers can adapt strategies to meet the evolving needs of vulnerable populations and address underlying systemic issues contributing to homelessness.
  4. Changes in Shelter Utilization Rates: Analyzing shelter utilization rates provides insights into the demand for emergency housing and support services. Researchers examine factors driving fluctuations in shelter occupancy, such as seasonal variations, economic conditions, and changes in eligibility criteria. By identifying patterns in shelter utilization, policymakers can allocate resources more effectively, ensuring that shelters are adequately equipped to meet demand during peak periods and emergencies.
The relationship between housing costs and shelter home demand is multifaceted and influenced by various economic, social, and geographic factors. By conducting rigorous data analysis, exploring correlation patterns, and accounting for geographic considerations, researchers and policymakers can develop evidence-based strategies to address homelessness effectively. By understanding the underlying dynamics driving homelessness at the local, regional, and national levels, communities can work towards creating more equitable and inclusive housing systems that ensure everyone has access to safe and stable housing.

Songs of Solace: Navigating the Shadows of Support

Adequacy of Existing Social Support Systems
According to the census report of 2011, approximately 13.75 million households or approximately 65-70 million people reside in urban slums. The central idea revolving around the article is to provide the laws and redressal methods available for redressing the issue of homelessness in India.[13]

It is the responsibility of the government, as mandated by the Constitution of India, to ensure that all citizens have access to shelter. This duty is underscored by the Fundamental Rights enshrined in the Constitution, which guarantee protection of the right to adequate housing.

Article 21 of the Constitution of India guarantees the right to protection of life and personal liberty. In the case of pavement dwellers (Oliga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation)[14], the Supreme Court interpreted Article 21 broadly, emphasizing that it encompasses more than just the preservation of life and includes the right to a dignified life. Articles 14, 19, and 21 are recognized by the apex court as crucial factors in ensuring the dignity of individuals, and states are mandated to protect this dignity by providing housing for the homeless.

Additionally, the Constitution includes other safeguards for homeless individuals:
  • Article 39(1) directs state policy to ensure equal access to adequate livelihood for both men and women.
  • Article 42 mandates the state to make provisions for just and humane working conditions and maternity relief.
  • Article 47 imposes a duty on the state to enhance nutrition levels, standard of living, and public health.
The Supreme Court addressed the issue of homelessness in the 'right to food case' in 2010 (PUCL v. Union of India and Others)[15]. As a result, the court issued an order requiring the provision of at least one shelter per 100,000 population in every major urban area to meet the essential needs of the urban homeless. The court mandated that these shelter homes should operate continuously throughout the year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and should not be limited to specific seasons.

The challenges posed by urban poverty can be broadly categorized into three main areas: residential vulnerability, social vulnerability, and occupational vulnerability. These challenges are interconnected, with factors such as lack of access to basic amenities, social deprivation based on factors like gender and age, and precarious livelihoods in the informal sector contributing to the overall vulnerability of urban populations.

Recent observations by the Supreme Court have highlighted the difficulties faced by urban homeless individuals, emphasizing the importance of providing dignified shelters as a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right to life. This underscores the urgent need to develop policies and programs to address the needs of the urban homeless population.[16]

To address these issues, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MHUPA) has been implementing the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY) centrally since 1997. This scheme was reconstituted as the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana � National Urban Livelihoods Mission in September 2013. The National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) has been implemented in all district headquarters and cities with a population of 1 lakh or more since September 24, 2013[17].

The latest official data reveals that since the inception of the Shelter for Homeless program under the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM) in 2013, only 658 shelters have been established. These shelters currently accommodate a total homeless population of 35,000, which is less than five percent of the overall urban homeless population of 9.38 lakh.

Among the 18 states covered by the program, several, including West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Odisha, Gujarat, and Chhattisgarh, have a poor track record of establishing shelters, with only one to five shelters each.

There exists a prevailing bias viewing the homeless as migrants who may not warrant support. While initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) have been expanded to include the middle class, efforts to address homelessness remain inadequate.[18]

Under the NULM Scheme, various types of shelters are envisaged to cater to different needs:
  • Men shelters: Given the higher number of homeless men, shelters specifically tailored to single men should be established.
  • Women shelters: Specialized shelter homes should be constructed to ensure the safety and well-being of homeless women and their children.
  • Family shelters: Dedicated shelters with adequate privacy and separate rooms should be provided to accommodate homeless families.
  • Special shelters: These shelters should cater to the unique needs of individuals such as the elderly, mentally ill, sick, recovering patients, and their families, as well as other special circumstances.
The primary critique leveled against the NULM Scheme is its focus on providing temporary shelters to homeless individuals without addressing the underlying issue of securing permanent housing with basic living standards. Critics argue that the scheme fails to offer homeless individuals any pathway to acquiring permanent dwellings of their own.

For instance, Bilal, an 80-year-old who migrated from Pakistan to India 25 years ago, now relies on one of the rain baseras (night shelters) near Nizamuddin for accommodation.[19]

In India, there has been no legislation, policy, or directive aimed at ensuring homeless people have access to medium- and long-term housing options. Notably, they are not included in initiatives such as the Housing for All Scheme.

Initiative by State government
The ongoing litigation regarding the PIL in the Supreme court of India (E.R. Kumar v. Union of India and Ors.)[20] where the apex court has directed the States to file an affidavit regarding the status of the homeless person in their States. Many states have started complying and have started building shelter homes and rain baseras for the homeless but still, there are many states who haven't yet complied with the directions of the apex court.

Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, visited India in April 2016 and strongly recommended that policymakers should develop and implement a human rights-based housing policy targeting people living on the streets and in slums to address poverty and inequality.

An ongoing case in the Supreme Court of India, E. R. Kumar and Anr. v. Union of India and Ors., focuses on homelessness. The court directed state and union territories' administrators to submit affidavits regarding the implementation of relevant schemes and policies. It formed an Executive Committee chaired by the Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation to oversee these efforts. The court emphasized both the quantity and quality of shelter homes.

Despite strict court orders since 2003, states and union territories have failed to provide adequate reports. Justice Kailash Gambhir's committee was established to verify shelters' compliance with operational guidelines and ensure minimum facilities, especially during winter. Recently, Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta ordered the report's upload on the Ministry's website for necessary action.

Internationally, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 25) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, Cultural Rights (Article 11(1)) recognize the right to housing.

Despite court directives, the Indian government's slow response has led to ongoing exploitation of human rights among the homeless, including child abuse and sexual exploitation. There's a need for a national policy focusing on providing permanent housing rather than temporary shelters for the homeless.

For Children
Child Protection entails safeguarding children from perceived or real threats to their lives, well-being, and childhood. Its goal is to minimize their vulnerability to harm and ensure their safety in adverse situations. It aims to prevent any child from falling through the cracks of social security and safety nets, and to provide necessary care, protection, and support for those who do, enabling them to reintegrate into the safety net. While every child has the right to protection, certain children are more vulnerable and require special attention.

Children residing in Child Care Institutions (CCIs) or Homes encompass various categories, including those who are orphaned, abandoned, surrendered, sexually abused, victims of child pornography, trafficked for various purposes (such as domestic work, labor, or commercial sexual exploitation), subjected to child marriage, affected by HIV/AIDS, impacted by natural or man-made disasters and conflicts, homeless, runaway or missing, and those with mental or physical challenges.

Child Care Institutions (CCIs) play a crucial role in fostering the holistic development of children and providing them with a nurturing and child-friendly environment. Over the years, there has been a series of legislations pertaining to CCIs, including The Apprentices Act, 1850; The Reformatory Schools Act, 1897; Probation Acts and Borstal Act, 1929; Children Act, 1960; and Orphanages and Charitable Homes Act, 1960. The current legislation, the JJ Act of 2015, mandates registration for all homes, aiming to address existing ambiguities surrounding CCIs in India. The definition of CCI was established under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, which categorizes various types of homes, such as Children Home, Open Shelter, Observation Home, Special Home, Place of Safety, Specialized Adoption Agency (SAA), and fit facility.

In a study conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), it was discovered that out of the 9589 Child Care Institutions (CCIs) or Homes examined, there were 7422 children categorized as being in conflict with the law (CCL). Among these, 5617 were boys and 1805 were girls. Additionally, the study identified 370,227 children categorized as Children in Need of Care and Protection (CNCP), comprising 199,760 boys, 170,375 girls, and 92 transgender children.

The 9589 Child Care Institutions (CCIs) or Homes receive financial support from diverse channels, including government, non-government, and other sources. When analyzed based on specific funding sources, approximately 56.8% of these institutions rely on individual donations, 42.3% receive funding from government grants, 14.8% benefit from non-government grants, and 23.4% obtain funds from foreign sources.

For Women:
  1. Short stay home[21]:
    Established in 1969 by the former Department of Social Welfare, Short Stay Homes serve as temporary shelters for women and girls facing various forms of social and moral jeopardy or homelessness due to experiences of violence, abuse, exploitation, destitution, lack of economic support, emotional distress, or mental illness. These shelters typically provide accommodations for a duration ranging from six months to three years, with a preference for individuals aged between 15 to 35 years.

    Alongside lodging, the Short Stay Home scheme extends maintenance and rehabilitation services facilitated by voluntary organizations. It permits children up to the age of seven years to reside with their mothers, following which they are transferred to children's homes. Additionally, the scheme mandates vocational training and skill development initiatives.
  2. Working Women's Hostels[22]:
    Established in 1972-73, these hostels were conceived to provide secure, economical, and convenient lodging options for women engaged in paid employment. These accommodations are intended to be situated in urban centers, smaller towns, and even rural areas. Eligibility for residence in these hostels extends to single, widowed, divorced, separated, or married women whose husbands or families reside elsewhere. Preference is given to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with physical disabilities. According to the June 2015 policy governing these hostels, occupancy is limited to women with a gross monthly income not exceeding Rs. 50,000 in metropolitan areas or Rs. 35,000 elsewhere. Children up to the age of 18 years (girls) and 5 years (boys) are permitted to reside with their mothers. Additionally, these hostels provide daycare facilities for residents' children. The maximum duration of stay in such accommodations is three years.
  3. Swadhar Homes[23]:
    Introduced in 2001-02 under the Swadhar scheme by the Department of Women and Child Development, these facilities were created in response to the limitations observed in the Short Stay Homes scheme. The Swadhar scheme aims to deliver comprehensive services to women lacking socio-economic support, such as destitute individuals, impoverished widows, survivors of natural disasters and terrorist/extremist violence, migrants or refugees, former prisoners without family assistance, and women abandoned by their families due to physical/mental disabilities. The range of services provided under the Swadhar scheme encompasses provisions for food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, counseling, legal aid, and socio-economic rehabilitation, which includes educational support, awareness campaigns, and skill development initiatives.
  4. Ujjawala[24]:
    Established in 2007 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Ujjawala is a scheme specifically designed to address the needs of survivors of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, both adult females and minors. It aims to facilitate prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration, and repatriation efforts. Ujjawala homes were established to provide survivors with essential support services including food, shelter, clothing, education, vocational training, livelihood opportunities, as well as medical and legal assistance. Additionally, for survivors from other countries, the scheme incorporates mechanisms to facilitate their reintegration and repatriation. The implementation of the scheme is carried out by non-governmental organizations.
  5. Swadhar Greh[25]:
    Following a performance evaluation of the Short Stay Homes and Swadhar Homes in 2007, which revealed overlaps between the two schemes, they were merged during the same year. The objective was to streamline administrative processes and procedures while improving overall functionality. The merged entity, known as Swadhar Greh, has since been managed by voluntary organizations with state support on a non-profit basis. It was recommended that each district in the country should have at least one Swadhar Greh. These new shelters, depending on local requirements, are permitted to accommodate between 50 and 100 residents. Similar to other residential facilities, the residents of Swadhar Greh include victims of violence, the destitute, abandoned individuals, and those affected by HIV/AIDS, among others. The age eligibility for residents was set at 18 years and above.
  6. One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC)[26]:
    Established in 2014, the One Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) was established based on recommendations made by a legal commission formed in the aftermath of the 2012 gang rape incident in Delhi. Additionally, the 12th Commission on Women's Agency and Empowerment had suggested the implementation of an OSCC on a pilot basis. The OSCC functions as a comprehensive support system, offering a single-window clearance and multi-level assistance to survivors of violence at designated hospitals. It provides temporary shelter for a maximum duration of five days to survivors of both private and public violence occurring within the home, workplace, or community.

    Women experiencing various forms of violence, including attempted sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, trafficking, honor-related crimes, acid attacks, or witch-hunting, are eligible for specialized services upon reaching out to or being referred to the OSCC. The center caters to the needs of girls and women of all ages, offering a range of services such as basic necessities, shelter, medical aid, legal assistance, police complaints, counseling, emotional support, emergency response, rescue services, and access to a police desk connected to a 24-hour helpline.[27]
  7. Faith-based shelters:
    Religious institutions and trusts have historically administered charitable programs for the impoverished and destitute. Various models of shelter homes are operated by Hindu temple trusts, Jain foundations, Christian missionaries, Muslim charity organizations, and others. Alongside providing free meals, education, and medical services, shelter homes for children and women constitute a significant aspect of their philanthropic endeavors.
For Elderly People
Old age homes cater to senior citizens who are either unable to reside with their families or are destitute. States such as Delhi, Kerala, Maharashtra, and West Bengal have established high-quality old age homes with specialized medical facilities including mobile healthcare systems, ambulances, nursing staff, and nutritious meals. India boasts over a thousand such facilities, many of which offer accommodation free of charge, while others operate on a payment basis depending on the range and quality of services provided. In addition to lodging, meals, and medical care, old age homes often offer yoga classes for residents. They also facilitate communication with loved ones through access to telephones and other means of contact. Some old age homes feature day care centers where senior citizens can spend the day under supervision.[28]

For Urban Homeless Population[29]
  1. Men's shelters: Due to the higher proportion of men among the homeless population, it is proposed to establish separate shelters specifically tailored to meet the needs of single working men.
  2. Women's shelters: Shelters exclusively designated for women, including their location, design, services, and support systems, would be developed to address the specific needs of women and their dependent children. It is recommended that in every Urban Local Body (ULB), regardless of population size, at least one such shelter for women would be established.
  3. Family Shelters: To accommodate families residing on the streets, specialized family shelters will be established, featuring a design that ensures privacy while also providing shared common areas.
  4. Unique Shelters: Considering the specific requirements of various segments of the homeless population, including elderly individuals without care, those with mental or physical disabilities, recovering patients and their families, as well as attendants of hospitalized patients, specialized shelters will be established to cater to their needs.

Case Laws on the Matter
In the historic judgment of Olga Tellis vs. Bombay Municipal Corporation[30] the Bombay High Court held that considering the right to dwell on pavements or in slums by the indigent was accepted as a part of right to life enshrined under Article 21, their ejectment from the place nearer to their work would be deprivation of their right to livelihood.

In Shantistar Builders v. Narayan KhimalalTotame[31], another Bench of three Judges had held that basic needs of man have traditionally been accepted to be three - food, clothing and shelter. The right to life is guaranteed in any civilized society. That would take within its sweep the right to food, the right to clothing, the right to decent environment and a reasonable accommodation to live in.

Further in State of Karnataka v. Narasimhamurthy[32] this Court held that right to shelter is a fundamental right to shelter is a fundamental right under Article 19(1) of the Constitution.

Another case of P. G. Gupta v. State of Gujarat[33] a Bench of three Judges of this Court considering the mandate of human right to shelter read it into Article 19(1)(e) and Article 21 of the Constitution of India to guarantee right to residence and settlement.

In PUCL v. Union of India and Others the court also stated that the shelter homes should remain functional for 365 days and 24*7, and shouldn't be available only for a particular season.

There have thus been several judgments by court stating that the right to life is infact a fundamental right and must be given to all citizens of the country.

Systemic Failures in Addressing Homelessness

List of Problems with Shelter Homes

Discrimination Against LGBTQ People:[35]
According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 40% of homeless teenagers and young adults identify as LGBT. Many of them refrain from utilizing shelters due to concerns of discrimination, as these establishments, much like the families who rejected them, often exhibit bias against individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

"LGBT youth are also disproportionally homeless due to overt discrimination when seeking alternative housing � widespread discrimination in federally funded institutions frequently contributes to the growing rates of homelessness among LGBT youth. Once homeless, these youth experience greater physical and sexual exploitation than their heterosexual counterparts."[36]

Fear of Contracting Parasites like Lice, Scabies, Pubic Lice, or Bedbugs:
Regardless of how well-maintained a facility is, the risk of encountering parasites remains notably high. This is not attributed to any fault of the staff or organizations managing shelters; rather, it's an inherent risk associated with the shared sleeping arrangements utilized by numerous individuals. Bedbugs, for instance, have become increasingly prevalent even in upscale hotels. Homeless individuals are more susceptible to carrying parasites, likely due to their frequent changes in sleeping locations. Consequently, regularly sleeping in different beds previously used by numerous individuals or in close proximity to a constantly changing group of people increases the likelihood of contracting parasites such as head lice, pubic lice, or scabies. Addressing such infestations becomes particularly challenging for individuals without stable housing.

Danger of Rape or Assault:
Homeless shelters and their surroundings often serve as hunting grounds for individuals with malicious intent. Some individuals may secure positions within charitable organizations, while others lurk around the premises, observing those entering or leaving. These predators may not only include rapists but also individuals seeking excitement who target lone individuals for harassment or violence. Although there may be attendants present, they are often untrained in handling violent behavior, leaving shelter users vulnerable. Volunteer workers cannot be expected to intervene in potentially dangerous situations, and the lack of sufficient staff means that individuals can only do so much to ensure safety. Additionally, criminals are aware that complaints from homeless individuals are often not taken seriously by law enforcement. Consequently, many people opt to avoid shelters, missions, and soup kitchens altogether as a means of avoiding such predators.

Lack of Handicapped Accommodations:
Several of these organizations utilize refurbished old buildings to accommodate multiple beds. In some cases, these beds are situated above ground level without access to elevators. Additionally, certain facilities lack safety features such as railings in restrooms or ramps into rooms or buildings. While it is not the responsibility of the staff managing these shelters, some locations are not equipped to accommodate individuals who use wheelchairs.

Drug Addictions
While some drug users may choose to steer clear of shelters, many others, including both users and dealers, frequent these places, turning them into hubs for drug-related activities. Consequently, individuals who are alarmed by such drug activity may opt to avoid shelters, understandably concerned for their own safety or that of their children. Additionally, some individuals who are attempting to overcome drug or alcohol addiction find it challenging to do so in the presence of other users, prompting them to avoid staying at shelters while undergoing rehabilitation efforts.

Separation of Family Members:
This is a significant issue, and it's quite distressing upon reflection: the majority of homeless shelters enforce a policy of separating families. While women are typically allowed to bring their pre-teen children into women's shelters, teenage male children, sometimes as young as 13, may be required to seek accommodation at men's shelters, where they may encounter difficulty gaining admission.

Staff Assumptions about Drug Use and Criminality:
Although it's seldom expressed openly, numerous staff and volunteers at shelters tend to view all individuals seeking their assistance as drug addicts and criminals. To avoid being labeled as such, many individuals refrain from utilizing these services. When someone is experiencing homelessness, many individuals automatically assume they are involved in criminal activity or substance abuse. They fail to grasp that homelessness can simply be the result of unfortunate circumstances, rather than any wrongdoing on the individual's part.

Danger of Theft:
While most homeless people are not thieves, a few of them are. It only takes one to spoil it for everyone else. When you have no home, your little bit of stuff is precious; it's all you have.

Religious Differences:
Many shelters and food kitchens often include a religious service that individuals are expected to attend in order to access meals or accommodations. As an atheist, this aspect didn't particularly bother me. I was simply grateful to have a safe, indoor space where I could rest without worrying about facing harassment from gangs or law enforcement, regardless of what I had to pretend to believe. Even if I had to feign agreement with the idea that I was being punished by a higher power for my supposed misdeeds, it didn't trouble me much.

Lack of Privacy and Fear of Crowds:
Some individuals who are housed might argue that those facing difficult circumstances don't deserve privacy. However, the lack of privacy can be especially challenging for people with mental disorders that cause them to fear crowds. I encountered several individuals with crowd-related phobias who couldn't be persuaded to use homeless facilities, despite being unwell and unsuited to sleeping outdoors, even in good weather. Whether considered deserving of privacy or not, individuals with mental illnesses that provoke a fear of crowds, or even of moderate numbers of people in close quarters, are genuinely terrified of such conditions, even when safety is assured.

Lack of Control:
When someone ends up on the streets, their life is typically already spiraling out of control. This sense of chaos can be exacerbated by the structured schedules of check-in times, meal times, prayer sessions, sleep schedules, and check-out times in shelters. Some individuals choose to remain outdoors because it allows them to retain a semblance of control over their own lives.

Lack of Available Beds:
There is not enough safe, legal shelter for everyone. No matter how many people choose not to use them, there are still not nearly enough beds available for those who would like to sleep indoors despite the risks involved.

Shelters for the urban homeless[37]
In accordance with directives from the Supreme Court and guidelines established by the National Urban Livelihoods Mission (NULM), urban areas are mandated to establish permanent shelters for the homeless that operate round the clock. The goal is to have at least one shelter for every one lakh of urban population, each capable of accommodating up to 100 individuals. Some shelters may cater exclusively to the most vulnerable homeless populations, such as single women or the disabled.

These shelters should provide a minimum space of 50 square feet per person, along with well-ventilated rooms, adequate lighting, water facilities, toilets, a common kitchen, and utensils. Additionally, services like mosquito control and regular bed cleaning should be provided.

The shelters are also tasked with assisting the homeless in obtaining proof of address and necessary documents such as Below Poverty Line (BPL) and ration cards, as well as voter IDs, enabling them to access government schemes including pensions and school admissions. These shelters can be managed either by the government or by agencies designated by the government, as outlined in the Shelter for Urban Homeless (SUH) scheme under NULM.

The real state of shelters
A report from 2017, led by retired Justice Kailash Gambhir and commissioned by the Supreme Court, highlights the dire state of homeless shelters across India. It points out that many state governments fail to cover the operation and maintenance expenses for NGOs running these shelters, despite having allocated funds for this purpose. The report assesses homeless shelters in ten cities and rates Mumbai and three others as 'poor', while three cities�Bangalore, Kolkata, and Kanpur�are rated as 'extremely poor'. These ratings consider not only the quantity of shelters but also their management and the efforts made by the cities, such as surveys and mapping initiatives.

Kanpur, with over 80,000 homeless individuals according to the 2011 census, lacks shelters for 98.6% of them. Similarly, Kolkata, with approximately 70,000 homeless individuals, lacks shelters for 98% of them. Even in Bangalore, where the homeless population is lower (around 14,000), 98% are without shelter. The report criticizes Kolkata and Bangalore for having shelters operated by untrained NGOs and failing to adhere to the norms outlined in the Shelter for Urban Homeless (SUH) scheme.

Additionally, the report highlights the poor management of shelters in cities across Gujarat due to severely limited resources. In Ahmedabad, tenders were awarded to NGOs offering rates as low as Rs 20 per day per inmate, compromising the quality of shelter services.

City Number of homeless as per 2011 Census Capacity of shelter homes Number homeless shelter of without Percentage homeless shelter of without
Mumbai 57416 412 57004 99%
 Bangalore 14189 253 13936 98%

Systemic failures in addressing homelessness stem from policy gaps, resource allocation issues, and entrenched barriers within housing and social service systems. This chapter identifies these failures, analyzes systemic barriers, and examines their impact on shelter home demand.

Identification of Policy Gaps and Resource Allocation Issues:

Policy gaps and resource allocation issues contribute to systemic failures in addressing homelessness:
  • Lack of Affordable Housing Policies: Insufficient investment in affordable housing programs and policies exacerbates housing insecurity and homelessness. Many regions face a shortage of affordable housing units, resulting in increased competition and rising housing costs.
  • Inadequate Funding for Support Services: Limited funding for support services, such as mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, and job training, hinders efforts to address the underlying causes of homelessness and promote housing stability.
  • Focus on Emergency Response: Emphasis on emergency response and short-term solutions, such as temporary shelters and emergency aid programs, fails to address the root causes of homelessness and perpetuates cycles of housing instability.

Analysis of Systemic Barriers:

Systemic barriers within housing and social service systems create obstacles for individuals experiencing homelessness:
  • Discriminatory Practices: Discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status within housing and employment sectors perpetuates housing insecurity and limits access to stable housing and employment opportunities.
  • Bureaucratic Barriers: Complex and bureaucratic application processes for housing assistance programs, such as Section 8 vouchers, create barriers for individuals experiencing homelessness, leading to delays in accessing housing support.
  • Lack of Coordination: Fragmentation and lack of coordination among service providers result in gaps in service provision and challenges in accessing comprehensive support for individuals experiencing homelessness.

Impact on Shelter Home Demand

Systemic failures in addressing homelessness contribute to increased demand for shelter homes:
  • Lack of Permanent Housing Solutions: Inadequate investment in permanent housing solutions, such as affordable housing developments and supportive housing programs, leads to a reliance on emergency shelters as a primary response to homelessness.
  • Ineffective Prevention Strategies: Insufficient funding for homelessness prevention programs and limited access to supportive services result in a higher inflow of individuals into homelessness, increasing demand for emergency shelter beds.
  • Cycles of Homelessness: Without adequate support and resources to address the root causes of homelessness, individuals may become trapped in cycles of housing instability, leading to repeated stays in emergency shelters and increased demand for shelter beds over time.

Systemic failures in addressing homelessness stem from policy gaps, resource allocation issues, and entrenched barriers within housing and social service systems. These failures perpetuate cycles of housing instability, increase demand for emergency shelter beds, and exacerbate disparities in homelessness rates. Addressing systemic barriers and investing in evidence-based interventions are essential for building more equitable and inclusive support systems that ensure everyone has access to safe and stable housing.

Refuge in Hope: Sheltering Hearts from Domestic Storms

Shelter homes a help to domestic violence victims
A series of revelations about sexual abuse in shelter homes for girls and women has finally drawn public attention to these institutions. This increased focus on shelter homes is long overdue and positive. The subsequent public audits have the potential to identify shortcomings and bring about lasting changes to address the neglect experienced by both the institutions and their residents.

However, while audits shed light on what occurs within shelter homes, we must also address and rectify issues outside of them. After all, shelters are intended to be temporary and healing arrangements. Without broader systemic changes outside of these facilities, they will not protect residents from violence but may perpetuate it internally, as seen in the case of Muzaffarpur.[38]

Countless reports detailing appalling crimes against juveniles in shelter homes have dominated the newspapers. The alarming deterioration of conditions in remand houses and shelter homes is beyond comprehension. These institutions are in desperate need of improved facilities. Instead of providing refuge, they paint a grim picture of the neglect of children's welfare. Urgent corrective action is imperative to address this distressing situation.[39]

While our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety and effectiveness of shelter homes, we must also strive to prevent girls and women from becoming homeless in the first place. This requires addressing the underlying cultures of violence that permeate our society. Violence against women should be seen as a structural issue, not just isolated incidents of physical or sexual violence.

The upcoming section will present in-depth case studies of horrific crimes that have occurred in shelter homes in India. The goal is to delve into the root causes of these incidents and gain a deeper understanding of the systemic challenges faced by our shelter homes.
  1. Case One: India as a Hub for International Sex Tourism?
    The Anchorage case, dating back to 2001, marks a significant milestone in the understanding and development of laws concerning child abuse. It all began with a phone call to Childline India Foundation's[40] hotline (1098), reporting abuse of children at the Anchorage shelter for street children in Mumbai, operated by Duncan Grant and Allan Waters, retired British Navy Officers. Duncan Grant established the Anchorage Shelter Home in Colaba, Mumbai, in 1995, which Waters frequently visited. Investigations revealed that the two Britons had been sexually abusing children at the orphanage. The abuse came to light when a volunteer contacted Childline India Foundation in Mumbai, exposing the disturbing events at the shelter home.

    Grant resided with a group of approximately 25-30 children, primarily those engaged in street work. Over time, he established two shelters in the Murud and Badwar Park areas. These shelters received regular visits from foreign tourists, who would often take boys from the shelters as city guides. Grant, Waters, and their network of international acquaintances would lavish expensive gifts upon the boys. Despite rumors circulating among NGO volunteers who visited the shelters and among the street children themselves about the sexual abuse of boys at the shelter, there was no concrete evidence to prompt an investigation.

    In October 2001, Childline India Foundation received multiple reports of child abuse from the Anchorage shelter home. Following complaints from five boys about repeated sexual and physical abuse by the men, the pair was charged with sexual assault. Initially acquitted by the Bombay High Court due to lack of evidence, their acquittal was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2011. Throughout the proceedings, numerous challenges arose, including witness hostility, police inaction, and other difficulties.

    In a significant ruling, Additional Sessions judge PS Paranjpe emphasized that the verdict aimed to send a clear message to paedophiles worldwide that India is not a safe haven for them. He expressed hope that the sentence would contribute to eradicating India from the map of international sex tourism. Childline India Foundation, a charity organization, described the case as a pivotal moment in child sexual abuse convictions in India, highlighting the opacity of laws and the prevalent "culture of silence."[41]
  2. Case Two: Shelter Homes- Safe Haven or Criminal Hotspots?
    The highly publicized Muzaffarpur Shelter Home Rape Case caused a national uproar upon the revelation that a shelter home operated by the NGO "Sewa Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti" in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, was implicated in incidents of sexual abuse, rape, and torture. A medical examination confirmed that 34 out of 42 inmates residing at the shelter had experienced sexual abuse.[42]

    On May 31, 2018, an audit report by Tata Insititute of Social Sciences (TISS) observed that several girls residing at a shelter home in Muzaffarpur, Bihar, had complained of sexual abuse. Thereafter, in July, the Women and Child Development Ministry informed that the shelter home had been sealed and 46 minor girls were rescued after the discovery of a sex racket.

    On reaching the shelter, one of the residents explained to the police the hardships they have faced and alleged that a girl was beaten to death on campus after having raised an issue against the authorities. She also said that the body of her fellow-resident was buried underground. The co-owners of the shelter were arrested, along with the staff members. At least thirty of the survivors have been suffering from irreparable trauma and have also attempted suicide.

    One of the residents of the shelter home informed that unknown visitors would often appear in the dark and sexually assault her. She was one of 44 girls aged between seven and 17 who lived in a three-storey house in a fetid lane in Muzaffarpur. They were orphans, runaways, trafficked and the destitute from one of India's poorest states, where 46% of the population is below 17 years of age.[43]

    The confidential social audit report by TISS, said the conditions at the Muzaffarpur home, run by a local newspaper owner, Brajesh Thakur, were "deplorable", and that it was being run in a "highly questionable manner". The report said the girls had "no access to any sort of open space and been literally locked up in their wards except when they went to dining hall to take their meals". Most disturbingly, several girls reported sexual assault and violence inside the home. When the police began questioning them, what they uncovered was a bone-chilling horror story Most of the inmates were aged between 12 and 16. Investigators were struck by how "strangely they behaved". They laughed and burst into tears at once; and then they would fall silent. Fourteen of them appeared to be mentally challenged or were severely depressed.

    There was sufficient food available at the home, but many of the girls looked famished. They suffered from tuberculosis and skin diseases. Many had inflicted self-harm, slashing themselves with pencil sharpener blades. Some girls had 20-25 injuries on their bodies". It is claimed caregivers spiked their food with sleeping pills. Men from outside, mostly helped by Mr. Thakur, sneaked into their rooms and raped them, the girls alleged.

    The shelter home is situated in a grimy alley within the crowded urban landscape of Muzaffarpur.

    One girl said whenever she fell sick the caregivers would ask her to "go to the room of Mr Thakur" who lived next door and rest there. A fellow inmate said the same man kicked her in the stomach. When doctors examined the girls, they found 34 of the 42 underage girls "might have committed sexual intercourse".

    Three men, including Mr Thakur, have been charged with rape, sexual abuse of children and criminal conspiracy. The chief suspect Mr Thakur denied the charges, describing them as "frivolous" and "politically motivated". Mr Thakur was also clearly well connected. The 50-year-old counted influential politicians among his close friends. His five-year-old non-profit that ran the children's home received four million rupees ($58,250; �45,208) every year from the government for the upkeep of inmates, salaries of employees and the rent of the building.

    Mr Thakur was cleared by the federal interior ministry to be accredited as a journalist with India's Press Information Bureau. This meant he had access to events involving the president and prime minister, access to ministries and subsidised healthcare. In Bihar, he was a member of a panel that handed out government accreditations to journalists.

    The Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar promised a thorough reform of shelter homes, but this by itself did not inspire enough confidence. By one account, the Muzaffarpur home was inspected dozens of times in the last few years, but no one found anything amiss - or refused to act.

    During a visit to the shelter home last winter, Pankaj Sinha, a member of Bihar's Child Rights Commission, described the children as appearing "gloomy and listless," and likened the atmosphere to that of a prison. Despite officials being urged to relocate the children from the premises, no action was taken. Additionally, researchers discovered record books containing falsified entries of mandatory meetings with inmates that had never occurred. Complaint boxes were found overflowing with unread letters from inmates detailing incidents of abuse and mistreatment.

    It's alarming how prevalent such abuses have become in our country and how many perpetrators evade punishment. Equally disturbing is the desensitization of our society to such news. The implications of these reactions are deeply unsettling.
  3. Case Three: Shelter Homes- Safety Nets or Traps
    In August 2018, a scandal reminiscent of the Muzaffarpur case unfolded in Uttar Pradesh's Deoria, where 24 young women were rescued from a shelter home after inmates raised allegations. The police arrested two individuals, including the director of the home and her husband. The Superintendent of Police disclosed that the incident came to light when a 10-year-old girl from Betia, Bihar, managed to escape from the shelter home and reported her experiences to the authorities. Acting on her testimony, the police intervened, learning that all the inmates were being treated akin to servants. The girl also revealed that cars would arrive to pick up girls over 15 years old, who would return in tears the following day. Upon receiving this information, authorities released 24 girls from the shelter home, while 18 inmates remained unaccounted for at the time. Subsequently, the shelter home was sealed, and its license was revoked following an investigation by the CBI.[44]

    On further investigation, it was found that the recognition of the NGO was revoked a year back due to financial irregularities and the funds were stopped. It came about as a matter of grave concern as to how the NGO was functioning till then as the continuance of its functioning is in itself a defiance of the orders of the Government. This raised questions of the possible political and bureaucratic connections of the accused. Further investigation revealed that the owner of the shelter home continued to participate in government functions, despite their orders to shut down the institution.

    The case continued to get murkier when later, revelations surfaced through witness statements that the victims were drugged before being sent to 'powerful guests'. One of the statements also alleged that the owner used to drug girls before they were sexually exploited in exchange for money. Another version stated that they were drugged before being sent to men so that they don't feel any pain. A high- level probe team exposed that the shelter home was also allegedly running a child trafficking racket, in the guise of an adoption centre that extended well beyond the geographical boundaries of India.[45]

    As per the women counselors who were confided in by the rescued victims, some of the girls were sexually harassed, beaten and married off to men twice as old as them. The owner of the shelter home, used to conduct mass marriages and had allegedly supervised one such event in the month of February. In a similar function last year, it was further revealed that some girls were married off by the owner to men much older than them.

    The girls also talked about the appalling conditions of living at the shelter house. A 13-year-old rescued girl revealed that they would be given food only twice a day but had to sweep and mop the floor thrice. The shelter-home in-charge would also hit them if they raised a voice. They were forced to wake up before 5 am in order to finish the household chores, starting from sweeping and mopping the floor for two hours, to be repeated thrice a day. A breakfast of chapattis and pickle, insufficient in nutrition and satiating the hunger of the girls, was provided post breakfast.

    A 15-year-old girl revealed that the food was apportioned to not more than two chapattis per person and that sometimes they used to offer a piece to the younger girls who battled hunger. If they asked for more food, the girls would be abused verbally as well as physically. Even at dinner-time, they would be served chapattis with a 'sloppily-cooked' vegetable. The girls also revealed that both the owner and her daughter used to beat them up, every now and then. The girls also alleged that they were made to sleep in rooms without fans. It was before dinner that one of the girls escaped the shelter on Sunday and reached the police station from where she was taken to the SP of Deoria. The shelter home was then raided by the police.

    That this shelter home was within a stone's throw of the local police station says a lot about the system of turning a blind eye.
  4. Case Four: Shelter Homes- Urgent Need for Increased Inspections
    In November 2018, an NGO- run shelter home was sealed in Odisha's Beltikiri area of Dhenkanal district following allegations that the minor inmates there were sexually abused. Two people, including the in- charge of the shelter home were arrested. The girls at the home alleged that they were harassed sexually, physically and mentally by the in- charge over the past two years and that they did not tell anyone about it out of fear and shame. The accused dismissed the allegations by saying that the children were leveling baseless allegations as he was strict in enforcing discipline.

    There were also reports of foreign funding and donations in the functioning of the head NGO named Good News India. Further investigation reported that the NGO was also a centre for carrying out forceful religious conversions and human trafficking in its shelter homes.

    The shelter home accommodates more than 80 girls and boys. On investigation, it was found that the NGO under which the shelter home was being operated was running without registration since 2015, i.e. for three years prior to the incident, in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act. The shelter home was operating illegally in a secluded place at Beltikiri.

    This came as a shock as the central government had earlier directed the states to inspect all child care institutions in the aftermath of the alleged sexual abuse of 34 minor girls at a shelter home in Bihar. As many as 539 childcare institutions were shut down by the Women and Child Development Ministry across the country for various irregularities after the inspections.[46]

    This, again, hints at how irresponsibly the local authorities function and fail at discharging their responsibilities. There needs to be stricter compliance towards the existing regulations and the inspections need to be carried efficiently on a more regular basis.
  5. Case Five: Shelter Homes- Vulnerability of children on a rise
    Shocking tales of rape and torture emerged from an illegally-run shelter for tribal and poor children in Maharashtra's Raigad district in May 2014 following which two of its officials were arrested.[47]

    Chairman of Chandraprabha Charitable Trust Ajit Dabholkar and manager Lalita Tonde were arrested after the children, some as young as 11, complained of being forced to have sex among themselves and also with the accused.

    The shelter was running illegally at Takve village in Karjat taluka, barely 60 km from Mumbai. It had 32 inmates in the age group of four to 15. The crime came to light when one of the inmates informed her mother. She approached the Raigad Child Helpline, which alerted police.

    Pune-based social worker Anuradha Sahasrabuddhe of Pune Childline, who is a complainant in the case, said the children were forced to have sex among themselves and with the accused and the act was even "filmed". If they resisted, the victims were forced to eat dog excreta and were locked up. If they threw up, they had to eat the vomit.

    During preliminary investigation, Karjat police found that at least five inmates, aged between 11 and 15, had been sexually abused.

    The police informed that the Trust was running the establishment as a residential school without permission. They did not have any document to show that they have necessary clearances to run the establishment. It was being run illegally.

    According to reports, the duo targeted poor families in the area and persuaded them to send their children to the shelter for better education. At the shelter, the children stayed for 10 months in a year and spent two months of summer vacation at home. It was during the vacation that one of the victims spoke up.

    Sexual abuse was not the first instance of misconduct that has emerged from this residential school. Investigation into this case brought out more disturbing details. In 2006, a boy from the shelter died after 'strangling himself with a wire'. The boy was a relative of the shelter manager. Her husband who worked at the residential school, died in 2009, again under suspicious circumstances. Ironically, the shelter where the alleged atrocities took place that has been receiving aid from the Zilla Parishad and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.[48]

    But this is not the only ashramshala (residential school) situated in the area. Bordering the tribal belt of Thane district, Karjat, there are a good number of residential schools where tribal children from surrounding areas stay and pursue their studies. Stories of atrocities have gone unreported as these residential schools are located in a remote village and the perpetrators managed to keep the children away from the public eye. But at the same time they succeeded in soliciting financial aid from other cities.

    Post the gruesome incident, the state government's Women and Child Development department (WCD) issued a fresh reminder asking all the shelter homes to register with the department, else be declared illegal. As per the Juvenile Justice Act, all shelter homes were to be registered within six months. But that was neither followed, nor checked by the department, until a spate of cases of abuse were reported from shelter homes at Karjat.
  6. Same Horror Faced Around the Country
    Situations such as this one have occurred all over the country.[49] To name a few we can start with the one in Samaypur Badli in Delhi wherein a minor girl was sexually abused by a 58-year-old manager of the care centre. She was picked up by an NGO and sent to this centre. On a surprise visit, the NGO officials found the young girl in the manager's house. Investigation revealed that the manager had kept her in his house for a year and had also raped her.

    Another such incident occurred in Jaipur in a shelter run by one Jacob John from Kerala for minors, from which 51 children were rescued. Most of the children were from Manipur and Nagaland; they were rescued by the Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights along with social workers and activists. The children were found in a terrible state and living under horrendous conditions. The children there testified that the caretaker would sleep with one of the 51 girls every night.

    Suparna Ka Aangan in Gurgaon, Haryana is another example of these 'Houses of Horror'. It was an NGO run orphanage. The owner was aware of the sexual abuse that went on inside the shelter by the caretaker of the home itself.

    Bal Kunj at Yamuna Nagar, again in Haryana, is a government-run shelter home. From here, a girl was found missing. Investigations revealed that many of the inmates had been sexually and physically abused.

    Apna Ghar in Rohtak, Haryana in May 2012 has also had incidents such as these. The shelter had a surprise inspection following the running away of three girls from the shelter. This revealed heartbreaking tales of torture, sexual abuse, exploitation, child labour and even to the extent of forcing some of the inmate into prostitution. It was sealed in June 2012 and 120 inmates were rescued.

Any NGO or even an individual in India finds it relatively easy to obtain licenses to run children's homes from the State or national authorities thus absolving the State of the responsibility of taking care of these marginalized children. This, sometimes, sadly means that children can be abused for as long as it goes unreported or unnoticed.

After reviewing numerous cases, it's shocking to realize the overwhelming number of incidents that cannot even be fully documented in one report�they are countless. It's high time the entire system undergoes a thorough overhaul.

In reality, each instance of violence is perpetuated, instigated, and normalized by the systematic, and often subtle or unseen, ways in which women are marginalized. Structural violence lies at the heart of the issue. For countless women, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds, financial dependence often plunges them into a cycle of violence, exploitation, and suffering. Moreover, it's not just girls and women residing in shelters who are survivors of violence. There are countless survivors living outside these shelters, in their family homes or marital residences, enduring the denial of their right to choose, facing marital rape, abuse, and discrimination in silence.

Another aspect that warrants reconsideration is our conception of shelter homes. Women's shelters, for instance, often operate as custodial spaces where residents are provided food and accommodation in exchange for limited mobility. Many of these shelters even refer to their residents as 'inmates,' suggesting a perception akin to convicts requiring confinement within the premises. This issue extends beyond mere semantics to encompass perceptions and operational protocols. While some residents indeed face threats to their safety and require protection, should the autonomy of all adult residents be suspended or questioned in the name of safeguarding? Prioritizing residents' mobility and autonomy can mitigate social isolation and amplify their voices beyond these institutions.

Another approach to dismantle the opacity surrounding shelter homes is to permit select and reputable individuals to visit these facilities periodically. Often, gaining access to shelter home residents is challenging, if not impossible, due to concerns from management or staff regarding safety, privacy, and confidentiality. However, while these are valid concerns, certain unscrupulous shelter homes may exploit them to maintain a veil of secrecy.

Implementing sensitive and ethical guidelines and mechanisms can dismantle the isolation of survivors in shelter homes, enabling direct communication with the public. Such strategies can foster greater public awareness about the challenges faced by both residents and shelter homes, potentially leading to increased resource mobilization and improved services. Thus, rather than being isolated environments characterized by loneliness and conflict, shelter homes can serve as platforms for curated, meaningful exchanges between residents and a select group of experts and volunteers.

Instead of waiting for sensational acts of violence to prompt action, we must acknowledge the longstanding neglect plaguing these supposed 'homes.' Despite sporadic and outdated findings and recommendations from previous news reports or audits, little action has been taken. Persistent issues such as staff shortages and funding constraints at shelter homes, as well as the absence of mental health care and rehabilitation efforts, persist as serious human rights violations.

Revamping shelter homes requires a multifaceted approach�delving into both the internal dynamics and external context. Rather than awaiting the outcomes of subsequent audits, it is imperative to reflect on and address the issues that are already evident.

In conclusion, this comprehensive study has examined the multifaceted issue of homelessness, exploring its root causes, systemic challenges, and potential solutions. The following summarizes the key findings, discusses their implications for addressing homelessness, and suggests future research directions.

In this brief, the megacity also serves as a great flight for the poor of Purvanchal and neighboring Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, in a stopgap that migration will change their fortunes. Still, without any sanctum, formerly on the thoroughfares they're easy prey to crime, substance abuse, and executive apathy. Tales of importunity and abuse by alkies and road hooligans are common. A row of cabs is situated close to the Civil Lines machine station then each night.

Around 80-90 people survive there under the sky, living a largely anonymous and solitary life. I'm just a gharry sculler. Who cares where I go after I drop the passengers at their destination? asks Shivam, who hails from the Trans-Yamuna region of Allahabad. Around homeless people live in Allahabad, surviving on the thoroughfares, pavements, at churches (crossings) and premises, bearing the deep freeze, heat, and the rain. Add to that, executive apathy. In fact, small attempts made by the homeless to raise canopies are incontinently shattered by the original megacity.

Pankaj Kumar, a diurnal- paycheck laborer, sleeps on the pavement outside the Allahabad Road station with 15-20 companions. I've to be careful of the original mugs. They steal my plutocrat if I am not alert. Occasionally, they drink and ask us to partake in our food. However, they beat us, he says, if we do not give in.

There are no laws guarding the homeless. At the original position, there are schemes and programs for their recuperation. But an intimidating maturity of them is ignorant of similar installations. Utmost of the homeless in Allahabad are illiterate. And nearly everyone we spoke to didn't retain or wasn't carrying any form of identity card. Still, despite their challenging actuality on the thoroughfares, the homeless are bound by fears of ill-treatment at sanctum homes. Out of the 11 sanctum homes in Allahabad, only three are performing. Still, these can accommodate only 400 people and run-in pitiable conditions.

We will not be chased out once we go there? an old woman pops out her head from her thin rag mask close to the Allahabad High Court. A thin, youthful man seated a many bases down adds Yes, what if they chase us out? And my spot then captured by someone differently? The caretakers don't watch about the homeless.

They ask for backhanders for every small thing and completely neglect the poor, says Nazim Ansari, Secretary, Abul Kalam Azad Jan Sewa Sansthan, and Allahabad fellow for India Under the Stars crusade. Another challenge while allowing sanctum homes to the destitute is to separate the good bones from the felonious-inclined by swarming them together, we might put the other convicts, especially women, at threat, says Mr. Ansari. Under similar circumstances, numerous of the homeless are ready to bear living under the open sky rather than face importunity and query at sanctum homes. In fact, numerous feel free outdoors. We've been living outdoors since our father's times. We find comfort then. The road is our home, says Amar, a laborer.

A survey was conducted by the author on ground level at Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, and the observations are as below:
S. No. Places visited
1 Sangam, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
2 Near MankaMeshwar Mandir, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
3 Kalyani Devi temple, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
4 Railway Station, prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh
5 Rain Basera (Railways Station Gate No I City Side)
6 Rain Basera (Leader Road Bus Stand)
7 Rain Basera (Boat Club)
8 Rain Basera (Khuldabad) Ward office)
9 Rain Basera (Mundera Chungi)
10 Rain Basera (Allahapur)
11 Rain Basera (Dhumanganj Ward Office)


Rain Basera (Khuldabad) Ward Office:

  • This Shelter home is located at the ward office of Nagar Nigam Khuldabad.
  • When we visited, their caretaker, Harshit Gupta, came and we asked for the caretaker's name.
  • There is a kitchen available, but it is only for staff. The organization itself covers the expenses for their visitors; there is no budget for visitor food.
  • There is no storeroom available.
  • The area of women's privies is dirty and smells bad.
  • They have 40 beds and extra space for emergency needs, along with 40 blankets.

Rain Basera (Railways Station Gate No I City Side):

  • This shelter is located near the main railway station Gate No-1 City Side.
  • Three caretakers manage this shelter, with Dheeraj Kumar Sharma as the main caretaker.
  • They allow entry only to people with identification proof; otherwise, they register visitors by clicking photos and noting names.
  • It is run by an NGO.
  • They have 36 beds and extra space for emergencies, along with 36 blankets.
  • They have combined halls for men and women.
  • The records of visitors are maintained in an up-to-date register.
  • They have four cameras, but only two are operational.
  • They provide expenses for visitor food; no budget is allocated for this.
  • They offer permanent shelter to handicapped people, but there's no government budget for their care.
  • Unemployed individuals without options for survival are not allowed.
  • The privies and drinking water area need improvement due to hygiene issues.

Rain Basera, Mundera Chungi:

  • This shelter home is located in Mundera Chungi.
  • This shelter is running through an NGO.
  • In this shelter there is two staff only, there is no sweeper with them.
  • The privies of men and women are looked at and cleaned by the staff who are working there as caretakers.
  • The sweeper only cleans the ground floor.
  • They have the beds of 30 but they only have 20 and four extra beds, those 4 beds are in the worst condition they needed for the replacement.
  • They have the water purifier but it is in the worst condition.
  • This shelter allows residing only those people who came to give the competitive exam i.e. students and laborers, etc.
  • Our fact-finding team has talked with a boy who has come to reside here for 3 days due to some official work, we get to know about the facility of this shelter from him.
  • He told us that there is no clean drinking water, no newspaper to get the news of the city.
  • There is no storeroom, entertainment room.
  • Sleeping arrangement was common.
  • The condition of the shelter is not good because there are many faults was seen by our fact-finding team.
  • The considerable dampness in the room walls also resulted in the paint falling off in crusts in various sections.

Rain Basera, Dhoomanganj, Ward Office:

  • This shelter home is located on the main road of Dhoomanganj.
  • They have the quantity of 20 beds but they have only 18 beds for those people who will reside here.
  • The privies are common for men and women.
  • In this shelter there is no water heater.
  • The roof of the privies was made of fiber, when our fact-finding team has visited there, they have seen that water was dripping from the ceiling.
  • There is a kitchen but there is no gas stove and cylinder.
  • There privies is smelling fetor.
  • The shelter home does not have any type of security.
  • They don't have cameras for security.
  • The register was not maintained.
  • Their window glass was open and the wiring board was open.
  • No fire extinguisher.
  • The caretaker of the home shelter was not too much aware of society.
  • They have the first aid kit but the appliance like covid-19 thermometer checkup was not working.

Rain Basera (Leader Road Bus Stand):

  • This Shelter Home is situated on Zero road Bus Stand.
  • This Shelter Home is run by Guddu Jaiswal.
  • They give rooms on charge for a day. (Rs. 100 per night)
  • The check-out time for the night visitors is 9 AM regardless of when they come at night.
  • When we reached, the proprietor Mr. Jaiswal wasn't there. The caretaker in his absence was, his salary was Rs.6000.
  • There was a lack of sanitation in the toilets and the lodgings were common for both men and women.
  • One of the toilet sections was out of order, hence the toilets were common as well.
  • The fees for staying were Rs.100 per night.
  • There was no visible provision of the lodgers being provided with food.
  • There are No Covid restrictions or guidelines being followed!
  • Entry of persons with masks is not mandatory and There is no provision of people with vaccination there.

Rain Basera (Boat Club):

  • This Shelter home is situated near Yamuna Boat Club Prayagraj.
  • The caretaker of the home was Mr. Pawan.
  • The beneficiaries were required to present their Aadhar Card before entering and to enter their names in the logbook.
  • There were no fans in both the quarters where there were arrangements to stay.
  • There were also no provisions for food. The lodgers were required to cook their own food.
  • There was also a considerable lack of cleanliness in the premises, as there was stray dog and animal feces in the compound as well as waste materials.
  • Separation of Male/Female Wards and Bathrooms were not there.
  • As one section of the washrooms was under maintenance there was a common washroom for all.
  • No Facility of Heaters or Warm Clothes.

Rain Basera (Allahapur Haija Hoapital):

  • The rain basera was located on the main road of Allahapur.
  • They have a capacity of 50 people.
  • The wall cement was coming out.
  • And shelves were not proper as per security purpose.
  • The shelter home was smelling very bad.
  • The shelter home was given on tender.
  • They don't have a water purifier.
  • There was only one caretaker.
  • The cupboard and walls were not maintained.
  • They don't have a storeroom, entertainment room.
  • No fire extinguisher.

Rain Basera (Allahapur) Review:

  • The rain basera was located in Allahapur. It was difficult to locate it should be on the main road.
  • No special arrangements for the handicapped.
  • There was a shortage of staff as only two staff members were there.
  • They have a capacity of 117 people.
  • The hall was very clean and hygienic.
  • The CCTV camera was working properly.
  • They have the ID records of the visitors.
  • The staff was not having any identity cards so it was difficult to identify.
  • They have a proper storeroom.
  • They have a clean and hygienic kitchen and they provide utensils only.

Observations Of Homeless People:

  • The indigent populace of our city compelled to reside on the footpath with the most basic and rudimentary means for survival at their disposal
  • Our representative present outside the Nagar Nigam night shelter overseeing the facilities
  • Our intern overseeing a thorough check of the arrangements that have been provided inside the shelter homes
  • The board on the entrance that translates to Free of Cost Night Shelter under the auspices of the Prayagraj Nagar Nigam
  • The footpath dwellers of our city, forced to live at the lowest rung of human sustenance and be victimized by the apathy of the municipality.
  • A destitute person, with no assistance by the municipal corporation or another citizenry, is forced to bide his time by sleeping on the roadside.
  • The lack of cleanliness outside the night shelter is in clear sight, and even there's a lock.
  • Visuals vividly portray the dire conditions of the workers
  • The outer compound of a building that informally doubles up as a resting place for the destitute
  • An elderly person, with all his belongings and means for survival, looks on forlornly from the streets.
  • More visuals that reflect the sorry state of the peasantry.
  • Having been forced to live a life on the road with all their means of survival, this shows the seamy side of things as far as societal empathy is concerned
  • The poor, braving the bitter cold with whatever little they have as possessions
  • More Visuals of the poverty-stricken populace, inhabiting the streets of Prayagraj, in droves

Results of Online Survey:

  • Question title: Have you ever stayed in a shelter home or know someone who has? Number of responses: 18 responses.
  • Question title: How aware are you of the shelter homes in your community? Number of responses: 18 responses.
  • Question title: Have you ever volunteered or donated to a shelter home or similar organization? Number of responses: 18 responses.
  • Question title: Do you believe governments are doing enough to address homelessness and provide adequate shelter facilities? Number of responses: 18 responses.

There were few more questions such as:
  • If yes, please share your experience or the experience of the person you know. What were the conditions like? Were there any challenges or positive aspects?
  • In your opinion, what are the main reasons why people might need to seek refuge in a shelter home?
  • How effective do you think shelter homes are in addressing the needs of homeless individuals and families?
  • What improvements or additional services would you suggest for shelter homes to better serve their residents?
  • If yes, what motivated you to volunteer or donate? If no, what might encourage you to get involved in supporting shelter homes?
  • What policies or initiatives do you think could be implemented or improved to better support shelter homes and homeless individuals?
  • In your opinion, how does society perceive individuals who rely on shelter homes for housing?
  • What are some common misconceptions about shelter homes and homelessness that you would like to dispel?
  • How do you think the media portrays shelter homes and homelessness, and what impact does this portrayal have on public perception?
  • Is there anything else you would like to share about shelter homes, homelessness, or related topics that we haven't covered in this questionnaire?
  • Plan for and undertake construction of the numbers of day and night, permanent shelters in accordance with the norms laid out by the Supreme Court � one shelter with space for 100 persons (or two with space for 50 persons each) per one lac urban population to be constructed in compliance with the Supreme Court orders in the next two months.
  • Even in those states where there has been progress, the total capacity is extremely low and less than even 30% of the requirement as laid out by the Supreme Court. This needs immediate attention.
  • As per the orders of the Supreme Court, there should be a minimum of 30% of the total number of shelters reserved for vulnerable categories of homeless such as single women, women with children, old age persons, persons who are mentally or physically challenged and those with addictions, with special counselling and care facilities.
  • Undertake the rapid mapping of homeless concentrations in all cities at the earliest. Involve the state advisor's office in the task and complete it with utmost urgency.
  • Locate the shelter within close proximity to the areas of concentration of homeless persons, and in no case beyond a 2-kilometre radius.

In conclusion, addressing homelessness requires a multi-pronged approach that addresses systemic inequalities, expands affordable housing options, and provides comprehensive support services to individuals and families in need. By building on the key findings of this study and prioritizing collaboration, equity, and evidence-based decision-making, communities can work towards creating inclusive and resilient housing systems where everyone has access to safe and stable housing.

  • Shelters for the Urban Homeless A Handbook for Administrators and Policymakers; First Edition: 2014; Commissioners of the Supreme Court in the Case of Writ Petition (Civil) 196 of 2001
  • Economic and Political Weekly, Women's Work, Stigma, Shelter Homes and the State,
  • Sattar, Sanjukta. Homelessness In India, Shelter. Lyne Casavant, "Definition of Homelessness", Parliamentary Research Branch, PRB 99-1E, January 1999, Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls, SOCIOLOGY GUIDE
  • Premsingh J. Godwin and Wesley D Ebenezer, Homelessness and Residential Care (2013),
  • GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF WOMEN AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT SWADHAR GREH A Scheme that caters to primary needs of women in difficult circumstances (2015)
  • Bhagvan Singh Mukhraiya "A Report on Poverty and Homelessness", School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal,
  • S. Chachra, "National report on the Status of Shelters for Urban homes", Supreme Court Commissioner's Office, August 2014
  • Elder Abuse in India � 2018, Helpage India,
  • PDF: "government of India ministry of women and child development" website: wcd.nic\sites\default\files\guidelines7815-2.
  • PDF: "draft resource manual for open shelters for children in needs in India" website:\pdf\draft-resource-manual-for-open � shelters.
  • Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (
  • Shelters for the Urban Homeless: A Handbook for Administrators and Policymakers, Commissioners of the Supreme Court (
  • Steven Brown, Samantha Batko, Josh Leopold Aaron Shroyer, "Final Report and Recommendations on Homelessness in Alameda County, California", for article urban instate,
  • The National Urban Housing & Habitat Policy, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India (
  • National report on the status of Shelters for Urban Homeless, Supreme Court Commissioner's office (2014),

News and Shelter Homes Newspapers/News Portals:
  • Abdul Jadid, Muzaffarpur redux? Couple arrested for allegedly running sex racket at Deoria shelter home in UP, 24 women rescued, HINDUSTAN TIMES
  • Amrita Nandy, To Revamp Shelter Homes, First Address Systemic Issues That Make Women Homeless, THE WIRE
  • Atiya Bose, Suparna Gupta "4 Immediate Ways To Protect Children In Shelter Homes" NDTV new article
  • BBC NEWS, London man convicted in Indian paedophilia case
  • David Pirtle, "Why Some Homeless Choose the Streets Over Shelters" from NPR new article
Official Websites:
  • Childline India Foundation
  • NHRC Press Release, NHRC notice to Government of Tamil Nadu over sexual abuse of 15 minor girls at a Shelter Home in Tiruvannamalai district (01.02.2019), NHRC (Feb. 1, 2019)

  1. 1985 (2) SCC 545
  2. 1990 (1) SCC 520
  3. 1995 (5) SCC 524
  4. 1995 (S2) SCC 182
  5. AIR 1997 SC 568
  6. 1978 AIR 597, 1978 SCR (2) 621
  7. (W.P. (C) 572/2003)
  8. W.P. (C) 55/2003.
  9. AIR 1997 SC 568, (1997) 1 SCC 301
  10. (1989) 4 SCC J-1
  11. Nag, D. (2021). Shelter Homes and Elderly Women: A Case Study of Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. Academia Letters, Article 2553.
  14. 1985 (2) SCC 545
  15. AIR 1997 SC 568
  18. SC asks govt to upload the report on shelter for urban homeless, 2nd May 2017, The Indian Express.
  19. India must ensure that homeless people have access to housing options, 20th August 2016, Hindustan Times.
  20. W.P. (C) 55/2003.
  21. Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls, SOCIOLOGY GUIDE,
  22. Scheme for Working Women Hostel, MWCD WEBSITE
  23. Press Information Bureau, Swadhar Sheme, MWCD
  24. Ujjawala, MWCD
  25. National Portal of India, Swadhar Greh, GOVT. OF INDIA
  26. One Stop Centre Scheme, MWCD
  27. One Stop Centre Scheme in Hindi, Govt. Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Yojana https://pradhanmantri-
  28. Elder Abuse in India � 2018, Helpage India content/uploads/2018/08/ELDER-ABUSE-IN-INDIA-2018-A-HelpAge-India-report.pd
  29. Scheme of Shelters for Urban Homeless, MINISTRY OF HOUSING AND URBAN AFFAIRS
  30. 1985 (2) SCC 545
  31. 1990 (1) SCC 520
  32. 1995 (5) SCC 524
  33. 1995 (S2) SCC 182
  34. Title of image: "Homelessness in India " (from the article published in Shodhganga pg no 256)
  35. The Economic Times, article: "Sexual Abuse at Shelter Home"
  36. Title:" WHY DON'T HOMELESS PEOPLE USE SHELTERS?" by Kylyssa Shay, activists;
  37. Surbhi Singh, "Devadasi System; Temple Prostitution In India," Driot Law Journal.
  38. Amrita Nandy, To Revamp Shelter Homes, First Address Systemic Issues That Make Women Homeless, THE WIRE (Oct. 11, 2018),
  39. Mirror Now Digital, 8 measures needed to solve appalling state of shelter houses in India, TIMES NOW NEWS,
  40. CHILDLINE India Foundation,
  41. BBC NEWS, London man convicted in Indian paedophilia case, BBC NEWS (Mar. 18, 2011),
  42. Wikipedia, Muzaffarpur shelter case, WIKIPEDIA,
  43. Soutik Biswas, The horror story inside an Indian children's home, BBC NEWS (Aug. 11, 2018),
  44. Abdul Jadid, Muzaffarpur redux? Couple arrested for allegedly running sex racket at Deoria shelter home in UP, 24 women rescued, HINDUSTAN TIMES,
  45. Sharat Pradhan, Chilling details of Deoria shelter home case highlight the police-political-criminal network, DAILY O (Aug. 8, 2018),
  46. Devidas Deshpande, Sexual abuse reported in Maharashtra's children's shelter, REDIFF.COM,
  47. Women's Web, "Bihar's House Of Horror: What A Shelter Home In India Turned Into", (July 24, 2018),
Written By: Aishwarya Srivastava - 5th Year, 10th Semester - SS Khanna Girls’ Degree College, Prayagraj

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