In India, homeless people have very few places to turn. With support from other voluntary organisations, undertook a 10-day survey to assess the scale of the problem in Delhi
From day one, homeless people were part of the survey team, with the initiative galvanising support from wider civil society, including school students, youth, university students, political activists, and people from all social classes.
Within two years the first ever shelter for women – managed by the homeless women themselves –was set up in the Young Women’s Christian Association premises. Networking and media work were prioritised to spread the message about the need for shelters, alongside petitions to the Delhi Development Authority – the result of which is a commitment in the Delhi Masterplan for 2021 to have one shelter per 100,000 people.
The results are impressive: in 2001 there were only 10 night shelters in Delhi, but by 2017 there were 269 – the highest anywhere in the world.
“It is impressive how the organization (in partnership with other national and international networks) managed to have significant impact on public opinion and at the policy level to address the urgent needs of homeless people over the past decade”
– Lorena Zarate