During the days in Delhi, Once I saw a young woman, Deepa (while giving her some help, I had asked her name) with her belongings in plastic bags on the street side. I couldn’t guess her age, or even did not know since how long she was living there, but seeing her things kept around, and her clothes hanging on the railing, I could guess, it might have been a long time.
After reading this description, it would not be right to make a guess that this was a new thing I saw on the street of Delhi. This is a common scene, easily available to see everywhere in India. When it rains, they cover themselves with plastic sheets and even from the severe cold in winter or the intense heat waves in summer, they have very little protection for themselves.
The worse thing is that even they sometimes are harassed by the police or the locals also.
Thousands of people, including women, men and children arrive to the big cities everyday from villages and small towns, looking for better opportunities but most of them remain homeless. Many end up in slums and other informal settlements. Others settle under bridges, flyovers, on pavements and road dividers.
Globally, at least 150 million people, or about 2 percent of the population, are estimated to be homeless. More than a fifth of the population lacks adequate housing.
Discussing about the causes of the homelessness are the said to be poverty, lack of affordable housing, alcohol and drug addiction, family breakdown, civil conflict and environmental disasters, but there is no perfect reason for a human to remain alive without having a roof on his/her head.
Many think that there is no quick solution of ending up urban homelessness because the urban population is rapidly increasing and there is no planning of the affordable housing matching with the increased figure of the urban population. As the cities are growing at a remarkable rate, and that puts a strain on the government's capacity to respond to the needs of the people, including the homeless, it is challenge before the nation which seems tough to meet.
With at least 55 percent of the world's population living in urban centres, homelessness is ever more apparent almost everywhere around the world but our country’s condition is a bit severe, which is forecast to overtake China by 2024 as the world's most populous country, with tens of millions cramming into already crowded cities.
These street dwellers, apart from a painful life, face abusive marriages, suffer violence, sexual harassment, mental exertion, and other anti-social acts which as a result, spoils the generation.
Homelessness is not only a single defined problem, that is ‘not having shelter’, but homelessness, as a consequence, generates and re-generates, several major problems, which doesn’t have a remedy, but the birth of ‘permanent spoiling of a human and thus of a nation’ certainly takes place.