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Scrutiny
  
Leaking roofs
Have roof; you ain’t homeless hon!
24/07/2008

We thought that it would start and end with the Indian version of poverty definition (where, cleverly, the Indian government calculates a lesser number of people as being below the poverty line). But then, the same manipulative definition is also applied to homeless people. As per the official definition, only people who do not live in a ‘census house’ [structures with a roof] are considered homeless. Thus, this definition ignores and leaves out the population that live in makeshift arrangements, construction sites, shelter homes, or unacceptable housing. Worse, as the census counting takes place during the day, most homeless people who are day labourers, are missed out in the census. As per Action Aid, the total number of homeless is 80 million in India; and in most metros, the homeless are double the official estimates. But perhaps the worst is that a specific UNDP report now states that 95% of legal urban space is used and kept for the benefit of the most privileged ones in India. The repeated land scams across India furthers the UNDP statement! So what do you do if you’re homeless and want to be counted? Smile, it doesn’t make a difference even if you are. You don’t get a house!

By:- B&E
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