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#Mumbai- Municipal Corporation adds to woes of Homeless

Published: Saturday, Dec 15, 2012, 2:05 IST
By Dilnaz Boga | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Diana Joseph, 22, will spend Christmas with her husband Ganesh and two children on the street close to where their 20-year-old home was demolished on October 12.

“Like every year, we will cook daal chawal and cut a cake with the rest of the people who have lost their homes,” said the south resident, cuddling her infant in her arms.

The Joseph family, along with 100 other residents, including 25 children, have made the street their home with their belongings stacked up along the street. As if razing their homes was not enough, the civic authorities took all their
belongings on Friday.

The BMC took the action after the high court dismissed a petition by NGO Alternative Realities, that works for the rights of the homeless. The NGO had filed a PIL on October 30 after 15 families in Ballad Estate lost their homes in a demolition by the MbPT.

The residents, who lived on the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land, are mainly daily wage earners and domestic help employed in the same vicinity.

The residents claimed that the MbPT had not issued notices as per rules and that they had proof of residence as most of them had been born there.

Masleen Dave, 38, was in tears and was unable to get to her job as house help. Lamenting the loss of all her belongings, she clinged to the only thing she could salvage – her handbag. “We lost everything we had. The said they will not let us stay here at night. Where do we go?”

Four-year-old Angela Pushpa Raj Velangani, who suffered from food poisoning and had to be rushed to hospital after her home was demolished, missed school along with other children on Friday.

Arun Gowandkar, 29, a labourer, said he was going to the A Ward office to get their belongings released. “They’ve asked us to pay money to get our things back,” he added.

 

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