Census to cover city’s homeless | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Census to cover city’s homeless

They go about their work anonymously, living and dying on the roads but if all goes according to the plans of officials at the Census of India, the homeless in the city will also make their presence felt in the Census of 2011, on February 28.

delhi Updated: Feb 16, 2011 22:59 IST
Mallica Joshi

They go about their work anonymously, living and dying on the roads but if all goes according to the plans of officials at the Census of India, the homeless in the city will also make their presence felt in the Census of 2011, on February 28.

In an effort to count all the residents of the city, the body will take a count of the street dwellers on the night of February 28 and will take the help of the various NGOs working with the homeless to ensure that no one is left out.

The Census of India has asked its 30,000-odd enumerators to collect rough information before the actual exercise takes place on the final day.

But NGOs working with the homeless feel that one night is very little time to cover all homeless. Also, since many marriages are being held in the Capital on February 28, many homeless will be missing, as they do odd jobs at weddings.

“When it comes to earning money, a homeless person will never consider staying behind for the census. That’s why we feel one night is not enough. The census should be extended by another day,” said Sanjay Kumar, Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan, an NGO working with the homeless. “If the correct number and status of the homeless is not known, effective policy will never be formulated,” he added. Experts feel that a number of homeless were left out from the exercise in 2001. “We were present at the time of the 2001 census as well, but it was not a successful exercise. We are hoping that the census for the homeless will be conducted on the night of March 1 as well so that a similar situation doesn’t arise again,” said Indu Prakash Singh, technical advisor, Indo Global Social Service Society.

The enumerators have already been asked to mark places in their areas where the maximum number of homeless can be found.

“This information will come in handy at the time when the actual filling of form will take place. We have asked NGOs to give us all the information they have about the homeless and their numbers,” said, Varsha Joshi, director, Census Operations.

A meeting of Census of India officials and NGOs is set to take place next week.