Homelessness In India: An Unsolved Problem

Poverty is a major cause of homelessness, and India is no exception. In the last few decades, urbanisation has led many people from rural areas to migrate to cities in search of better opportunities.

What is the Issue of Homelessness in India?

The homeless population in India is rapidly growing and is estimated to be around 1.77 million. The problem of homelessness in India is further exacerbated by the fact that a large percentage of the population lives in poverty. In addition, the number of homeless people who are mentally ill or have substance abuse problems is also on the rise.

The majority of homeless people in India are men, and most of them are between the ages of 18 and 60. Homelessness is a problem that is particularly prevalent in urban areas, with an estimated 85% of homeless people living in cities.

Most homeless people in India live on the streets, in makeshift shelters, or slums. A small minority of homeless people live in government-run shelters, which are often overcrowded and lack basic amenities.

Not enough shelters are available to accommodate all of the homeless people in India, which leaves many people sleeping on the streets. In addition, most shelters are overcrowded and do not provide adequate facilities for those who are disabled or have mental health issues. As a result, many homeless people are forced to live in squalid conditions without proper sanitation or access to basic necessities like food and water.

Another major issue facing homeless people in India is the lack of access to healthcare. Many homeless people cannot afford to see a doctor or buy medication, which can lead to serious health problems down the road. In addition, mental health care is often not readily available for homeless people, which can exacerbate existing mental illness or cause new problems to develop.

The situation has gotten worse in the last few years. Covid 19 has caused the number of homeless people to rise throughout the country. Lockdowns lead to lost jobs and a rise in the number of people living under the poverty line. Most unemployed immigrant workers were forced to return to their villages from the metro cities they were working in, but not all could even afford that. This led to more homeless people on the streets of these metro cities.

The Indian government has taken some steps to address the issue of homelessness, but much more needs to be done to solve this growing problem. The government needs to increase funding for shelters and healthcare facilities for the homeless, and it needs to do more to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness in India. Only by taking these steps will the homeless population in India be able to get the help they need and start to rebuild their lives.

homeless people
Causes for Homelessness in India

As mentioned above, poverty is the leading cause of homelessness in India. According to a report by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), about 32% of India’s households live below the poverty line. This means they cannot afford basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and healthcare. Many of these families live in slums or on the streets because they cannot afford rent or lack secure tenure.

Unemployment is another major cause of homelessness in India. The NSSO report found that about 5% of households were headed by someone unemployed. This can make it difficult for families to make ends meet and pay for basic needs like food and shelter.

Displacement due to natural disasters is also a cause of homelessness in India. Thousands of people are displaced annually by floods, droughts, and other disasters. This can leave them without a home or with only temporary shelter. In some cases, families may even be forced to live on the streets if they cannot find alternative housing.

homeless old lady
How You Can Help the Cause to End Homelessness in India
  • There are many ways you can help the cause to end homelessness in India. Here are a few:
  • Donate money to organisations like Noble Nonprofit that are working to end homelessness in India.
  • Volunteer your time to help with fundraising or awareness-raising activities for organisations working to end homelessness in India.
  • Educate yourself and others about the issue of homelessness in India and what can be done to help address it.
  • Advocate for policy change at the local, state, and national levels to address the root causes of homelessness in India. The role of government is critical in addressing homelessness. Governments at all levels must recognize and come to grips with the seriousness of homelessness and the pressing need for everyone to do what they can to address the problem.
  • Spread the word about organisations working to end homelessness in India and how people can support their efforts.
  • Help people experiencing homelessness in your community by providing them with basic necessities like food, shelter, and clothing.

Homelessness is a complex problem with no easy solutions. Providing shelter and basic amenities for all homeless people is a daunting task, especially given the scale of the problem. But it’s important to remember that each homeless person is an individual with their own unique story and experiences. And each one deserves our compassion and support.

With your help, we can make a difference and reduce, if not end, homelessness in India.