Homeless wait for state’s help | india | Hindustan Times
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Homeless wait for state’s help

After a day’s labour, 30-year-old domestic help, Anita Rokade, is trying to cook a meal for her family of four. Her two children are wrapped in a flimsy cloth to protect them from the chill that set in after an unexpected shower.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2010 01:29 IST
Susamma Kurian

After a day’s labour, 30-year-old domestic help, Anita Rokade, is trying to cook a meal for her family of four. Her two children are wrapped in a flimsy cloth to protect them from the chill that set in after an unexpected shower.

The family, like a dozen other families, does not have a home to protect it from the sun and rain any longer. Their homes on the collector’s land at Dadlani Park near Balkum, were demolished on October 6 following a Bombay High Court order.

The families continue to live here in tents. Those who cannot afford their own tents share one with another family. They have two halogen lights and get water from places in the neighbourhood. At night, the men keep vigil so that the women and children try to sleep.

“Why would we stay back if we had an alternative arrangement? We wouldn’t have let our kids live in such conditions,” says Anita, a domestic help.

Most of the families who lived in Mahalaxminagar chawl were tenants, but 12 families had bought houses for Rs. 3.5 lakh each. “Our family earns only

Rs 6,000 a month,” says 53-year-old Ramchandra Shinde, a security guard. “We have to repay the loans.”

The owners do not want to file complaints against the builders because they fear losing their support. “It is not entirely their fault,” says Chirag Pawar, 22. “If the corporation had not provided water supply or the state electricity company had not installed meters, they wouldn’t have built houses here.”

District collector AL Jarhad says, “Only the court and government can decide whether these people can be rehabilitated.”