ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

HomelessnessSubscribe to Homelessness

Penalising Poverty

The unconstitutional Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959 criminalises begging and targets people for being homeless or unemployed despite “the relief of the disabled and unemployable” being a state responsibility. The state penalises the poor for being poor. Instead, it must identify and understand the reasons that lead people towards begging and alter laws and policies to provide for structures and an institutional framework that build people’s capacities to move out of destitution. Myths around begging must be broken to effect a change in perceptions and attitudes to achieve this end.

People Out of Place

An examination of the circumstances in which a set of pavement dwellers in Mumbai came to the city, allows one to link their imperiled urban material and political circumstances to the green revolution and the changes it wrought both in the relations of social reproduction and the form of electoral politics. Methodologically, their life stories also suggest that the space of rural poverty in India cannot be coterminous with the village border. Thus, the hinterland is not a physical location but a relational one, a configuration of historical and spatial relations that could as easily be found outside a city’s limits, as it can be found inside a city.

Homeless Migrants in Mumbai

Based on empirical work in Mumbai, this article enquires into experiences of homelessness of migrants to the city. It tries to locate these experiences within the larger processes of the neo-liberal envisioning of Mumbai as a global city, the ever-growing informalisation of labour, and displacement and inadequate resettlement of people, resulting in restricted access to affordable housing, services, workspaces and social welfare. The analyses expose how the homeless migrants perpetually suffer from the condition of suspended citizenship, lead their everyday domestic life under public gaze, face violence and also confront civil society's increasing assertion for rights over public spaces.
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