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Delhi launches survey of homeless people

Aiming at including the homeless people in the 2011 Census and providing them facilities accordingly, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit launched a survey for them with assistance from UN Development Programme.

Significantly, there are lakhs of homeless people in Delhi, who are not registered and so they do not have any kind of identity card. Because of this they cannot avail benefits of the social welfare programmes.

The aim of the survey is to include all those people in the current Census. The survey, said to be the first of its kind in the country which involves 24 governmental and non-governmental organisations, will take two months to complete. It will be conducted in 15 divisions of the city. Later, initiative will be taken to get the names of the homeless incorporated in the Census.

"A register will be made and according to that homeless people will be given ID cards, BPL cards so that it becomes easy for them to avail health facilities and get their children admitted to schools," Delhi CM said.

The Chief Minister launched the survey by filling the form of a paralysed homeless woman named Shakila. The form asks one about where he or she lives, family, occupation, income and other particulars. Dikshit said the counting will be done in the night as it is the "best time" when one could find these people at their places.

The Chief Minister also said that after the survey, Delhi government will have accurate figures of the homeless and then it will be easy to accommodate them and provide them adequate facilities.

Speaking on the occasion, Patrice Coeur-Bizot, UN Resident Representative, said, "The survey would serve as the basis for their inclusion in the National Population Register and would be more effective in designing and implementing the targeted interventions to improve the lives of the poorest."

The homeless survey is supported by UNDP's 'Innovation Support for Social Protection' project which aims at "equal access to the multitude of social welfare schemes" that the city government have implemented for the vulnerable population.

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