Study on Shelters of the Homeless

Documenting the shelters for the urban homeless in Ahmedabad.

As the poor are priced out of the city, the number of homeless has increased. In Ahmedabad alone, 11293 people (Census 2011) do not have homes. The homeless face day to day challenges in accessing water, sanitation and shelter in addition to the concerns of safety and security particularly for women and children. To address this, the Government launched the Shelters for Urban Homeless scheme in xxx, as an evolution of earlier night shelters. In Ahmedabad over xx such shelters were built and more are under construction. As with any scheme, there are lessons to be learnt in implementation. With this in mind, CISHAA undertook a primary survey of the functioning of 25 shelters on the ground in 2019 to highlight the positives and bring forth suggestions to make improvements.

PDPL is an exploratory study initiated by INHAF in Pune to involve the urban poor in defining the poverty line themselves. Pune has several dynamic unions and organizations of the urban poor who are sensitive to the impact that the poverty line has on their entitlements, benefits and development. With these member-based unions and organizations of the poor as partners, INHAF piloted the Poor Defining Poverty Line Initiative in xxxx, inspired by the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights that conducted a similar study in 6 Asian countries between 2013 and 2014.

This work is seen as a special contribution to the poverty debate as also a rethink on the strategies, plans and projects for poverty reduction. It is possibly one of the first such efforts in the country’s urban sector and is meant to:

a) highlight the need for and the virtue of the bottom-up way of defining and measuring poverty, a subject of national concern and development planning and action (the poor who live poverty are well equipped to define it )
b) develop and demonstrate a participatory, consultative and community engaging methodology in doing so
c) contribute to demystification of the poverty line, at the top and the bottom, at the government and the city level
d) highlight the known deficiencies and inadequacies of the existing definition and the measuring method—the uni-dimensional, nutrition-based poverty line—to ascertain that poverty is a multifaceted and multidimensional phenomenon. 


CISHAA – Following meaningful interactions with the follow-up committee created in the aftermath of the two conferences on housing held in September and November 2018 in Ahmedabad, CISHAA-Citizens for Shelter Alliance was created as a coalition of organisations that work together but not under any formal constitution. It was established as a platform for the sustained study of housing policy and advocacy for improved housing practices for the urban poor by organisations in Ahmedabad with their own institutional histories of working with the urban poor.


SUH Report by CISHAA