Homeless in Chennai

Whenever I pass thru mostly migrant constructions worker who live in streets of Chennai, I have wondered why cannot we do something about this but I could never come-up something I thought was a practical solution and would always get on with whatever keeps in occupied on any given day.

Then about month back some idea originated and I have been thinking about it more,  I think we can let them live more dignified if we can do the following

  • Basically Dormitory type of accomodation,  with minimal storage in one end (cupboard with lock)
  • These are long halls imaging twin beds stacked against wall on both sides with about 4 foot walking space in between and U shaped of shower curtain that can be drawn out to get some privacy during night.
  • Toilets  and bath and wash area adequate to take care of residents
  • Common community kitchen where breakfast is served and lunch is packed and dinner is also served – these need not be fancy ones but clean & simple food (that is prepared by folks who come from same region as workers)
  • During the day time the same area can be used as school for kids, basically community learning that prepares kid to attend more formal schools latter in their life
  • Government subsidy – PDS portion and employment assistance portion used to assist them and make this place run
  • There should be health assistant available to refer sick folks
  • There can be a micro saving booth that can be manned in the mornings and evening, that can  have simple saving account, accept deposits, do money transfers,  direct deposit of pay etc.
  • These folk live no more than 5-10 kms from their work place
  • There can TV in common place and also adult education for those who desire
  • There can be programs to figure out if these folks can be given more skilled training instead of being construction workers can they trained as pluming / electrical assistants, can women be trained to be tailors etc …
  • This can be thought of as holding place from where these folks can graduate to step higher in economic  ladder

I hope to think about this more and get back with update latter …


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