Night shelters run out of space as homeless galore in Mangalore

There are more than 200 homeless in City and the two night shelterscan accommodate only 50 persons at a time

Night shelters run out of space as homeless galore in Mangalore

After the Delhi gang rape incident, as per the direction of Apex court, Night Shelters were opened in all major cities of the country to provide protection to homeless, mainly for women and children. In Mangalore, the city corporation had started three shelters with the help of a NGO- Suvarna Karnataka in October, 2012. But, now the NGO is facing hurdles to maintain the shelters as it didn’t get a single rupee from the government for the past six months.  

According to the project, one night shelter can be opened for one lakh population. There were three shelters in the city, but the opened exclusively for women was later closed down. Now there are two shelters-- one near Sharavu Mahaganapati Temple with a capacity of 20 people and, another one in Urwa Balabhavan which has a capacity to accommodate 30 persons.

In Mangalore, Suvarna Karnataka is working as lead NGO for the project.
There is a community affairs officer to look after the office work and community organisers to look after the field work. As per the government direction, the NGO conducts a rapid survey once in every 15 days in the city to find out the orphans who sleep on road sides and admit them to the night shelters. The orphans can stay in shelters from 5 pm to morning and later they can go for their works. The facilities like clothes, fan, water and TV is provided. Children would be admitted to Prajna Health Care Centre, CWC or Seon Ashrama (Belthangady).

The NGO also has a helpline- 1800- 4258515.

No money

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Suvarna Karnataka President N P Shenoy alleged that Mangalore City Corporation officials are not taking interest in the programme.
There is a fund of Rs 60 lakh with the State government, but NGOs didn’t get the money from past one and half years, he said.

Temporary shelters

“There are still more than 200 orphans in the city, but we are not in a position to help them using the two temporary night shelters which are full. The deputy commissioner had ordered to take a move, but nothing has been done. The quarterly meetings are of no use. In both shelters, we have only one person to look after the orphans. Though we have plans to provide food, there is no money for the same,” he said.      

Commissioner assures solution

Newly appointed Mangalore City Corporation Commissioner Ajith Kumar S said that MCC would sort out the payment issue within two days. There was a delay because of the Assembly election and MCC would try its level best to build the permanent shelters for orphans and estimation will be done according to the fund released by the government. If NGOs have any problem, they can give details in a written format, he told Deccan Herald.

Job training is not easy

About giving job training to those who are deserted and live in night shelters, MCC Community Development Expert Chittaranjan Das said that “though there is direction to provide job training for them, the implementation process is difficult as many of them stay in shelters for a short period and most of them don’t have any ID proofs like ration card or voters ID,” he added.

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