Can We Build a Home for the Homeless? - Tikender Singh Panwar
Dozens of people die every year in a city like Delhi because of the adverse weather conditions.
The 70th Republic Day of India was celebrated as usual with fervour throughout the country. Various sections of the people have written elaborately in the media about the relevance of the day, and about the underlying principles of liberty, equality and fraternity in the Indian Constitution.
Much has been stated about all these three important elements, but the recent Oxfam report has shed a light on the glaring wealth inequality prevalent in the country. According to the report, just nine billionaires own as much wealth as 50 per cent of the lower half of the population in the country. The top 10 per cent hold 77.4 per cent of the total national wealth. The 119 billionaires in the country add Rs 2,200 crore per day to their wealth. These startling figures make mockery of the principles and the growth trajectory in the country.
However, the lowest in the ladder of the hierarchy of asset holders are the homeless and the shelterless in the cities. Dozens of people die every year in a city like Delhi because of the adverse weather conditions.
According to the census of 2011, India has more than 1.7 million (17 lakh) homeless residents, of which, 938,384 (10 per cent) are located in urban areas. In Delhi, there are different figures for the number of homeless from different sources. The government estimate says it is about 46,724, whereas Ashray Adhikar Abhiyaan (AAA) puts the figure to over 5,00,000.
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