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Bhubaneswar has 6,559 homeless people

Bhubaneswar, September, 22, 2017: Bhubaneswar, the capital city of Odisha, has 6,559 homeless people, as per the study conducted by ActionAid with its ally Centre for Women and Children Development (CCWD).

The ActionAid and CCWD undertook a study on the living conditions of the homeless in Bhubaneswar mobilising more than 50 volunteers from different slums, and city-based educational institutions.

So while the census data says the population of homeless people in Bhubaneswar is 1,245, the present study done by the ActionAid India counted as many as 6,559 homeless people.  But despite the fact that there are so many homeless people in the city, the capacity of the shelter homes for homeless is way below the requirements. There are just six functional night shelters in Bhubaneswar with a capacity of less than 400 people, the report stated.

Homeless populations have been termed as ‘Citymakers’ in ActionAid and other studies.

The report was unveiled at a programme by Bhubaneswar (North) MLA Priyadarshi Mishra on Friday.

The highest concentration of homeless individuals is found at places with the most opportunities for employment and shelter like temples, shopping complexes, railway stations, bus stand, cinema halls and hospitals.

Of the total homeless population 79 per cent of the people are male while female constituted 21 per cent and 41 percent are STs and SCs followed by 41 percent OBC. While 97 percent homeless people are Hindu 93 percent people are migrated from various districts within Odisha and the rest largely came from states like Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, the report revealed.

Construction work was the most common form of economic activity that survey respondents is engaged in, representing 33 percent of the sample population. Begging is the next most common, at 28 percent, followed by rag picking, vending/ hawking goods, and domestic work. 

A strong correlation is also observed between gender and income. Nearly 30 per cent of women earn less than Rs 100 per day, compared to only 18 percent of their male counterparts.

Out of 1,203 homeless people interviewed, 35.08 per cent are able to save some money while 64.34 percent are not able to save any money. An individual’s daily income is found to vary considerably according to the specific economic activities that he or she is engaged in. Construction workers, for example, have an average daily income of Rs 271 per day, which is Rs 61 above the daily average for the total population. Beggars, by contrast, earn an average of merely Rs 105 per day, which is only about half of the overall average.  Among survey respondents, nearly 60 per cent work for more than 20 days per month, and 35 per cent percent work for 11-20 days. Only two per cent of the survey sample work for less than 10 days per month.  

ActionAid programme officer BN Durga and CCWD Secretary Sadasiv Swain attended was also present.

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