THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: People sleeping on the roundabout in front of Thampanoor bus terminal is a scene commuters must be familiar with in the district. Some of them even sleep inside the terminal. When the night lures the city into sleep, hundreds of homeless people sleep on the street sides and many other locations in an otherwise laid back city. Most of them have fixed spots, where they sleep, and spend the night in these open areas, vulnerable. These are individuals without an identity to call their own, food to eat, a job or a roof over their heads.
The absence of an active inspection squad or a proper rehabilitation programme to help these people sticks out like a sore thumb for the authorities.The corporation owns only one such home which is situated in Kalladimugham near Ambalathara and can accommodate only up to 60 people. They have two types of shelters there. One is an old age home and the other is a rehabilitation centre for people who beg on the roadside. “We currently have 45 people here. Once a person is accommodated at the rehabilitation centre, we try and unite them with their family as soon as possible. We pick them up based on the calls we receive or when the court hands them over,” says Mayor V K Prasanth.
Meanwhile, sincere efforts are being made to give senior citizens better care, Biju Prabhakar, Special Secretary, Social Justice Department said, “The old age homes run by government are already over crowded. We actually accommodate more than our limit. We currently do not possess the capacity to round up people and help them. Slowly, we can reach there.”
“There is also the factor that some of these people prefer being outside without anything binding them. There have been instances of people disrupting the functioning of old age homes after bringing them,” he said.