Representative pic
Representative pic

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): After facing flak for dumping homeless people outside Indore amid the biting cold, the local administration has got into damage control by providing food and shelter to such people, and has asked officials to treat them with "sensitivity and humanity".

Food and bonfires are now being arranged in facilities where homeless people are provided shelter at night, Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) officials said on Monday. Besides, a campaign has also been launched for the rehabilitation and health checkup of beggars here, they said.

Indore Divisional Commissioner (Revenue) and IMC's administrator Pawan Sharma said he has directed officials concerned to rehabilitate beggars and homeless elderly people with "sensitivity and humanity".

There are already 10 facilities in the city for providing night shelter to those from deprived sections, Additional Municipal CommissionerAbhay Rajangaonkar told PTI.

"In view of the severe cold weather at present, the homeless elderly people are now also being provided food under the state government's Deendayal Rasoi Yojana," he said. Bonfires have also been arranged for those taking shelter in these facilities, he said.

Another civic official said they have started a week-long campaign for the health checkup of elderly people and beggars living on footpaths in the city.

Indore is among 10 cities of the country selected for the drive of rehabilitating beggars under the Centre's social justice department, he said. As part of the campaign, people surviving on begging are being identified, and they will be provided employment to bring them into the mainstream, he said.

On Friday, a video on social media showed municipal workersdumping some homeless elderly persons outside the city, drawing sharp criticism from various quarters. District Magistrate Manish Singh on Sunday said he has apologised to God for the local administration's action.

Earlier, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday suspended an IMC official in connection with the incident. The civic body has also removed two temporary employees from the job.

The incident has taken place at a time when the administration of Indore, which has won the country's cleanest city tag four times in a row, is making all efforts to keep the city neat and tidy to win the 'Swachh Sarvekshan 2021'.

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