Living on the streets comes with the ever-present threat of evictions and severe risks to one’s being. We firmly believe in providing support to people in times of an emergency, as it is then that most help is needed.
Our team is equipped to respond to situations of evictions, police harassment, medical emergencies etc. Due to a lack of information among the general public , and overworked medical staff it becomes difficult for people to access medical services. Often government hospitals are skeptical to keep homeless patients overnight, as they fear they will not leave the next day. Prejudices like these make accessing simple services a huge challenge for people. In emergency cases, our team assists people in getting admission to hospitals, and rehabilitation shelters if necessary.
Evictions and the accompanying violence are almost an everyday occurrence in the lives of the homeless. Even at the hands of the police of the Municipal Corporation, people living on the streets face a lot of harassment. Confiscation of property is commonplace and very often the Municipal Corporation takes away everything including school books, food, water and essential personal documents. These belongings are dumped, burnt or released after the payment of a fine. Our team offers support in such situations, negotiating with the authorities and offering basic legal advice to the homeless.
Police harassment also comes in the form of the arrest and detention of homeless citizens under various laws, often vague enough to be misused. One of the most common among these is the Bombay.
(Prevention of) Beggary Act, 1959 according to which any person found begging, dressed shabbily or selling knick-knacks can be arrested under the charge of begging. The same applies to children. This law is misused to send away homeless citizens to Beggar’s Homes or Children’s Remand Homes, cornering them out of the upper class’s direct line of sight, furthering their insensitivity towards the homeless.