In IT city, people live and die on footpath - The New Indian Express

In IT city, people live and die on footpath

Published: 03rd September 2013 09:26 AM

Last Updated: 03rd September 2013 09:26 AM

As many as 150 families are living on footpath after they were evicted from their makeshift homes in Ejipura on January 18 this year. Living out in the open has resulted in many health problems, especially among the children and the aged.

According slum dwellers, three people died and many have been hospitalised as they are living on footpath. Dr Sylvia Karpagam, Co- Convenor of Jana Arogya Andolana, who is attending to slum dwellers, said the families are living on footpath by erecting plastic sheets and a few others have made the cement pipes their homes.

“Many children are malnourished. A number of elders have high blood pressure and diabetes. They are not getting medication,” she said. “Nusrat who delivered a baby boy in her shed did not get Janani Suraksha Yojena funds and one-and-half-year old girl Adrena Mary died due to diarrhea and dysentery,” the doctor said. “There is an urgent need to attend to their problems,” she added. Shanta Mary, a displaced woman with three children said, “There were no transit arrangements. The government should have made some arrangements before asking us to leave the place. Now, we are living on the footpath and many of us are facing health problems. We have been told that it would take 30 months to provide houses for us. This period is like a hell for us.”

She further said, “My daughter delivered a girl baby 15 days ago. The baby is ill. The cement floor is cold as storm water runs under the footpath. Many children, like my granddaughter, are prone to water and mosquito borne diseases,” she said. “Neelamma and Gulab Jaan, who were aged, died due to cold in July. Oneyear- old Andrea also died after we were forced to live in such conditions. The families have to cook, eat, bathe and sleep in same sheds. The public toilet is not clean and its is causing problems,” she said.

Jyothi, 17, living inside big concrete pipes — like the ones used in storm-water drains — said her husband plays drums at funerals and his earnings not enough to take care of the family. “After we were forced out from our shed, we could not rent a house, so we moved in to this place. I gave birth to a baby girl four months ago and she is not doing well,” said a teary eyed Jyothi. The BBMP demolished the makeshift houses in the slum that had come up on its land.

Vanarpet Corporator S Vijayan said they were unauthorised residents. There are 1,512 original allottees and houses will be built for them. “We will also accommodate those who had occupied this area at Sulikunte near Sarjapura under Rajiv Awas Yojana and 912 such families will get houses there,” he noted. “The families living on footpath will also be accommodated and when called for negotiation they approached the court and the matter is pending before the court,” Vijayan added.

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