The India Homeless Resource Network (IHRN) is an open-access consortium between Centre for Equity Studies, Centre for Policy Research, The Banyan, Institute of Development Studies in Jaipur and Koshish-Tata Institute of Social Sciences that curates research on areas of urban homelessness that are absent or marginal in social policy, such as:
The goal of the network is to produce, curate and disseminate knowledge that may generate solutions among researchers, policymakers and the general public on addressing vulnerabilities homeless people in this country face to chronic and death-inducing poverty.
The network curates research, policy analysis and documents, articles and visual media on the above-mentioned themes from each organization in the network as well as from other researchers, institutions and universities. If you are a researcher, policymaker, social worker, video documentarian or photographer with experience or interest in covering homelessness in India and would like to contribute content to the website, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ section for details (this includes materials that have already been published which are permitted to be shared as well as new content which we would feature in our blog and media sections). For more information on the themes of the website, please visit the ‘Working Areas’ section. We seek and invite contributors outside of the network as part of our long-term goal to expand the number of institutions in this consortium.
The Banyan, Chennai has been instrumental in bringing a focus to homelessness in the 2013 Mental Health Policy, which explicitly identifies homeless people as vulnerable in need of access to the public health care system. They have been working with mentally ill homeless people, particularly women, for over two decades and have implemented a system of care that consists of outreach to and identification of homeless people on the streets, institutional primary health care, and after care services that connect people to their families or other special care providers for further support. For more information, please visit: http://www.thebanyan.org/
Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi, is a research and advocacy organisation that works on social and economic justice issues affecting the nation’s most vulnerable communities, such as the homeless. They currently run a specialised health shelter for homeless men in Delhi’s Yamuna Pushta areas that provides primary health care and referral services to hospitals for tuberculosis and HIV infected homeless men. They have conducted research on the causes of homeless deaths and the challenges the homeless face in accessing basic services and safety on the streets. For more information, please visit: http://centreforequitystudies.org/
Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, has had a long-standing research focus on urbanisation. As part of IHRN, CPR expects to conduct research on labour conditions of homeless adults in New Delhi, physical health burdens and access to health care for homeless men, and the experiences of homeless people in shelters. It will also be curating and managing the network website. For more information, please visit: http://www.cprindia.org/
The Institute for Development Studies, Jaipur, focuses their research on development challenges facing marginalised groups in India and is currently using a homeless survey they conducted in Jaipur to inform the Rajasthan government on provisions that should be included in the drafting of a state homeless policy. For more information, please visit: http://www.idsj.in/
Koshish-TISS is part of Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and its work till date has focused on reforming beggary laws, which currently grant powers to the police and state officials to detain people on the streets in custodial centers. The organisation also implements social programmes for the homeless in New Delhi and Mumbai that involve the reintegration of people on the streets and shelters with their families as well as jobs placements. Their work with colleagues across the country has led to a recent announcement by the Bihar state government that they will amend the beggary law to acknowledge homelessness as a condition of destitution that should not be criminalised and would entail linking people on the streets to shelters and services rather than sending them to remand homes. For more information, please visit: http://koshish.tiss.edu/