Homeless People in West Bengal: A District-Level Study

  • Arindam Roy Department of Geography, The University of Burdwan
  • Giyasuddin Siddique
Keywords: Homeless Population, Pavement Dwelling, Poverty, Rural-Urban Migration, Shelterlessness, Spatio-temporal distribution, Urbanisation, West Bengal, India

Abstract

The phenomenon of homelessness has often been explained as an obvious result of rapid urbanisation along with the limited housing facility in the urban areas (the destination region), but undoubtedly, it is interlinked with multifaceted issues which have been deeply rooted in the socioeconomic and political set up of the rural areas and small towns (the source region). Rural-urban development disparity, rural-urban migration, poverty, intraregional unequal human development and housing shortage are some of the factors that have intensified the problem of pavement dwelling in urban areas. According to the Census of India (2011), the state of West Bengal holds the 7th position among the states of India with 134040 homeless people. The development disparity between Kolkata and other parts of the state has resulted a definite district-wise spatial distributional pattern of homeless people with the greatest concentration in Kolkata city. The study attempts to probe into the spatio-temporal distribution of homeless population and strives to ascertain the instrumental factors of the phenomenon in a contextual framework with the help of available and acquired data and information. Simple statistical methods- location quotient, Z-score, bi-variate correlation, Sphereman’s Rank Correlation Coefficient and Student t test have been used for the analysis. The findings suggest that the less developed districts, as well as the states, surrounded the Kolkata act as the source region that has pushed the destitute community towards the city and compelled them to reside on the footpaths of the city without a roof.

References

Adhikari, H. (2014). Living Status/Shelter of Street Families of Kolkata: Prospects and Challenges. Open Access Library Journal, 1(571), (http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/oalib.1100571)
Ali, M. (2012).Socio-Economic Analysis of Homeless Population in Urban Areas a Case Study of Northern Ethiopia. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 2(8): 1-7
Ali, M. (2014).Status of Homeless Population in Urban Ethiopia: A Case Study of Amhara Region. International Journal of Management and Social Sciences Research
3(1): 61-68
Allred, J. (2006). Homeless Housing Plan for Davis County, Wasatch Front Regional Council, State of Utah, Department of Community and Culture.
Anisujjaman, Md. (2015). Urbanisation and Human Development: A Study of West Bengal. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Invention, 4(7): 1-8.
Bagchi, D. (2016). Street Dwelling and City Space: Women Waste Pickers in Kolkata. Economic and Political Weekly, lI (26/27): 63-68.
Baker, R., Panter-Brick, C. and Todd, A. (1997). Homeless Street Boys in Nepal: Their Demography and Lifestyle, Journal of Comparative Family Studies, 28(1), 129-146.
Basu, S. (2016). Quality of Life among the Pavement Dwellers in KMDA. Indian Journal of Landscape System and Ecological Studies, 39(2): 271-280.
Bharati, S. B. (1999). Human Rights and Development Projects in
India, The PRP Journal of Human Rights, 3 (4).
Bhattacharya, B. (1996). Slums and Pavement Dwellers of Calcutta Metropolis. Kolkata: Aparna Book Distributors
Bhattacharya, B. (2012). Homeless Pavement Dwellers: A Case Study of their Social Awareness in Kolkata from Human Rights Perspective, Journal of Exclusion Studies, 2(1): 10-29.
Brandon, D., K. Wells, C. Francis and E. Ramsey, (1980). The Survivors: A Study of Homeless Young Newcomers to London and the Responses Made to them. London: Routledge/Kegan Paul.
Busch-Geertsema, V., Culhane, D., and Fitzpatrick, S. (2016). Developing a Global Framework for Conceptualising and Measuring Homelessness. Habitat International 55, 124-132.
BBC News (2018, October 10). Single mothers 'hit hard by homelessness. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-45800186
Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority. (1976). Calcutta Metropolitan District- Some facts and Figures, Government of West Bengal
Census of India (1961 to 2011), Government of India
Chakraborty, S., S. Chatterjee, K. Das and U. Roy, (2015).Changing Pattern of Urbanization in West Bengal: An Analysis of 2011 Census of India Data. Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities, 5(5): 169-181.
Chatterjee, N. (1990). The East Bengal Refugees A Lesson in Survival. In Chaudhuri S, (Ed.) Calcutta: A Living City: The Present and Future (Vol. 2). Calcutta: Oxford University Press.
Chaudhuri.S. (2013). Living at the Edge: A Socio-Economic Profile of Kolkata’s Poor. South Asian Survey, 20(1): 44–58.
Chauhan, S. (2009). Climate Change, Disasters and Security - Issues, Concerns and
Implications for India,Paper presented to KDI conference, Seoul, June 12th, 2009.
http://www.welfareacademy.org/.../Climate%20Change,%20Disasters%20and%20Security-%20Implications%20for%20India Accessed on October 03, 2017
Das, A. (2013). Demography, Migration and Economic Status of Pavement Dwellers - A Study of Most Marginalized Urban Poor in Central Business Areas of Kolkata, West Bengal. International Journal of Science and Research, 4 (7): pp. 1496-1501.
Dey, F. and K. K. Majumdar (2015). Pavement Dwellers in Kolkata: Issues and Challenges. Researchers World, VI (2.2): 1-13.doi: 10.5958/2249-7315.2015.00117.3
Dupont, V., E. Tarlo and D. Vidal (2000) Delhi: Urban Space and Human Destinies
New Delhi: Manohar Publications
Fernandes, W. (2007).Singur and the Displacement Scenario, Economic and Political Weekly, 203-206
Fernandes, W., S. Chhetri, S. Joseph and S. Lama (2006). Development-Induced Displacement and Deprivation in West Bengal 1947-2000: A Quantitative and Qualitative Database on Its Extent and Impact. Guwahati: North Eastern Social Research Centre
Fitzpatrick, S., P. Kemp and S. Klinker (2000). Single Homelessness: An Overview of Research in Britain. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Ghosh, B., and N. Chakma (2014). Urbanisation in West Bengal: An Analysis of Recent Processes, Space and Culture, India, 2(2): 28-41, https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v2i2.86
Ghosh, R. (2014). Problems of Pavement dwellers of Kolkata. Indian Journal of Landscape System and Ecological Studies, International Seminar Volume
Giri, P. (1998). Urbanisation in West Bengal, 1951-1991, Economic and Political Weekly, 33(47/48): 3033-3038.
Government of India (1985): Report of the Committee on Rehabilitation of Displaced
Tribals Due to Development Projects, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi.
Government of India (2013). Reference Note on Displacement and Rehabilitation of People Due to Developmental Projects (No. 30/RN/Ref./December/2013). Lok Sabha, New Delhi, India.
Government of India (2016). The Homeless Pavement Dwellers (Welfare) Bill, 2016 (Bill No. 10 of 2016), Lok Sabha, New Delhi, India.
Gowan, T. (2010). Hobos, Hustlers and Backsliders: Homeless in San Francisco. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Heinze, H. J., Jozefowicz , D. M. H., Toro, P. A. and Blue L. R. (2012) Reasons for Homelessness: An Empirical Typology, Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 7:1, 88-101, doi: 10.1080/17450128.2011.643832
Jagannathan, N. V., and A. Halder (1988). A Case Study of Pavement Dwellers in Calcutta: Occupation, Mobility and Rural-Urban Linkages. Economic and Political Weekly, 23(49): 2602-2605.
Jagannathan, N. V., and A. Halder (1988). Income-Housing Linkages: A Case Study of Pavement Dwellers in Calcutta. Economic and Political Weekly, 23(23): 1175-1178.
Jagannathan, N. V., and A. Halder (1989). A Case Study of Pavement Dwellers in Calcutta: Family Characteristics of the Urban Poor. Economic and Political Weekly, 24(6): 315-318.
Jegede, A. (2018, July 2). Top 13 Cities With Highest Homeless Population In The World. Retrieved from https://www.trendrr.net/13046/top-cities-with-highest-homeless-population-world-famous-lowest/
Johnsen, S. and Watts, B. (2014). Homelessness and Poverty: Reviewing the Links. Paper presented at the European Network for Housing Research (ENHR) conference, Edinburgh,1-4 July 2014 (http://www.jrf.org.uk/topic/anti-poverty)
Kar, S. (2016). Pavement Dwellers of Central Kolkata: A Critical Analysis. Golden Geographer, I: 85-90.
Khatun, S., Das, S. and Pal, S. (2018). Exploring the Ambient Environment for Charland Formation in Rajmahal Downstream Ganga River of Eastern India in Post
Farakka Barrage Period.Spatial Information Research.doi: 10.1007/s41324-018-0179-x
Koehlmoos, T. P., Jasim Uddin, M., Ashraf, A. and Rashid. M. (2009). Homeless in Dhaka: Violence, Sexual Harassment, and Drug-abuse. Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, 27(4), 452-461.
Kumuda, D. (2014). Homeless Population in India: A Study. Global Journal for Research Analysis, 3(8): 54-55.
Lipton, F. R., and A. Sabatini (1984).Constructing Support Systems for Homeless Chronic Patients and the Homeless Mentally Ill: A Task Force Report of the American Psychiatric Association, American Psychiatric Association, Washington D. C.
May, J. (2000). Housing Histories and Homeless Careers: A Biographical Approach. Housing Studies, 15 (4): pp. 613–638.
Morrow, S. (2010). The Homeless in Historical Context, Development Southern Africa, 27(1): 51-62. doi: 10.1080/03768350903519341
Mostowska, M. (2013) Migration and Homelessness: The Social Networks of Homeless Poles in Oslo, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39:7, 1125-1140, doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2013.778037
Mukherjee, S. (1975). A Report on the Survey of 10000 Pavement Dwellers in Calcutta, under the shadow of the Metropolis They are Citizens too, Calcutta Metropolitan Development Authority, Kolkata
Mukhopadhyay A., Dutt A.K., Haldar A. (1994) Sidewalk Dwellers of Calcutta. In: Dutt A.K., Costa F.J., Aggarwal S., Noble A.G. (eds) The Asian City: Processes of Development, Characteristics and Planning. The Geo Journal Library, 30.Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-011-1002-0_22
Mustaquim, M., and M. Ismail (2013).An Analysis of the Socio-Economic Conditions of Homeless Population in parts of Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Indian Journal of Spatial Science, 4.0(2): 43 – 51.
Nooe, R. M., and D. A. Patterson (2010). The Ecology of Homelessness, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 20: 105–152.
Patel, S.(1990). Street Children, Hotel Boys and Children of Pavement Dwellers and Construction workers in Bombay- How They Meet Their Daily Needs.Environmrnt and Urbanization, 2(2), 9-26.
Patra, S., and K. Anand (2008). Homelessness: A Hidden Public Health Problem. Indian Journal of Public Health, 52 (3): 164-170.
Pleace, N. (2000). The New Consensus, the Old Consensus and the Provision of Services for People Sleeping Rough. Housing Studies, 15 (4): 581–594.
Roy Chowdhury, M. (1999). Slum and Pavement Dwellers of Calcutta: A Geographical Analysis. Unpublished Doctoral Thesis, The University of Burdwan
Ryabchuk, A. (2014). Homelessness in Ukraine: Structural Causes and Moral Evaluation, Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, 22(3): 288-306. doi:10.1080/0965156X.2014.988964
Sattar, S. (2014), Homelessness in India, Shelter, 15 (1): 9-15.
Seshadri, K. R. (2008). When Home is a Camp: Global Sovereignty, Biopolitics and
Internally Displaced Persons. Social Text 94 26(1): 29-54.
Sivaramakrishnan, L., and P. Mondal (2014).The Invisible Population in Indian Cities. Eastern Geographer, XX (1): 251-258.
Som, N. (1987). Bustees, Pavement Dwellers and Refugees of Calcutta. In Pradip Sinha, (Ed.) The Urban Experience Kolkata, Kolkata: Riddhi.
Somerville, P. (2013). Understanding Homelessness. Housing, Theory and
Society, 30(4): pp. 384-415. doi: 10.1080/14036096.2012.756096
SPARC (1985). http://www.sparcindia.org/pdf/articles/invisrev.pdf Retrieved June 2, 2017, from http://www.sparcindia.org
Speak,S. (2004). Degrees of Destitution: A Typology of Homelessness in
Developing Countries, Housing Studies, 19:3, 465-482, doi:10.1080/0267303042000204331
Springer, S. (2000). Homelessness: A Proposal for a Global Definition and Classification. Habitat International, 24(4): pp. 475- 484.
Tannerfeldt G. and P. Ljung (2006). More Urban, Less Poor: An Introduction to Urban Development and Management, London and New York: Routledge.
Tipple, G. and Speak, S. (2004). Attitudes to and Interventions in Homelessness: Insights from an International Study. International Conference on Adequate and Affordable Housing for all: Research, Policy, Practice, 24-27 June, 2004, Toronto
Tribhuvan, R. D., and R. Andreassen (2003). Streets of Insecurity: Study of Pavement Dwellers in India. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing House.
Tripathi, S. (2017).Development, Displacement and Human Rights Violations. Indian Journal of Public Administration 63(4) 567–578. doi: 10.1177/0019556117726821
Ullah, A.K.M.A., A. Rahaman, and M. Murshed (1999). Poverty and Migration: Slums of Dhaka City: The Realities, Association for Rural Development and Studies, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
UNDP (2009), Situation Report – Cyclone Aila – 27 May 2009.
United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) (2000).Strategies to Combat Homelessness.Nairobi, Retrieved June 7. 2018, fromhttp://www.unchs.org
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (2015). Un-Habitat Global Activities Report 2015, Increasing Synergy for Greater National Ownership, United Nations.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) (2015). UNO, Retrieved June 2. 2018, from http://www.un.org/en/udhrbook/pdf/udhr_booklet_en_web.pdf
Vázquez, C., Muñoz, M., Crespo, M., Guisado, A. B., and Dennis, M. L. (2005). A Comparative Study of the Twelve-Month Prevalence of Physical Health Problems among Homeless People in Madrid and Washington, D.C. International Journal of Mental Health, 34(3), Homelessness and Health (II). pp 35-56.
Wardhaugh, J. (2012), Rural Homelessness in India. In S. J. Smith (Ed.) International Encyclopedia of Housing and Homelessness.Retrieved on June 2. 2018, from https://www.elsevier.com/books/international-encyclopedia-of-housing-andhome/smith/978-0-08-047163-1
Warnes A. M. and Crane, M. (2006).The Causes of Homelessness among Older People in England. Housing Studies 21(3), pp. 401–421, doi: 10.1080/02673030600586027
Yonge, Y. (2007). United States Hunger and Homeless Survey: A Status Report on Hunger and Homelessness in America’s Cities. In E.A. Michael (Ed.), Homeless and Shelter, New York: Orlando Sentinel.
Published
2018-11-22
How to Cite
Roy, A., & Siddique, G. (2018). Homeless People in West Bengal: A District-Level Study. Space and Culture, India, 6(3), 110-133. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v6i3.312