Bhubaneswar: With the onset of winter, problems have started for the city’s homeless, who are seen sleeping at railway stations and by the roadside at night.
The Odisha Patita Udhar Samiti (OPUS) has started rescuing the homeless from these places.
OPUS launched the programme ‘Say No to Homelessness’ recently in association with the GRP and Coastal Security.
OPUS has rescued around 30 homeless people and has brought them to shelter for urban homeless (SUH), Ashok Nagar.
Matrumayee Priyadasrhini of OPUS said the railway station is filled with the homeless who spend their days and nights at the station.
“We launched this programme to free the railway station of the homeless and give them a proper place to sleep,” she said.
OPUS Secretary Abharani Choudhary said it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to help the homeless. “We have requested our friends and families to donate,” she said.
“We are also planning to go to bus stands after 11 pm. The campaign will continue throughout the winter,” she said.
The ADG of Railway and Coastal Security, Pranabindu Acharya, said the initiative is a step towards making the railways safe.
Sumati Behera, a rescued woman, said she came to Bhubaneswar looking for work to help her family as she is a widow and has three children. She said she has no money to rent a house and was sleeping at the railway station.
Earlier, she was not willing to come to the SUH, but after the police came she is now happy to join the other beneficiaries.
Aruna Nayak, another homeless woman, said that the she had been living at the station for months and was working at a nearby shop as a cleaning staffer.
The city has SUHs at Mali Sahi, Ashok Nagar, Bhimpur, Ghatikia, Baramunda, Ganganagar and Chandrasekharpur. Around 468 beds are available in these seven SUHs.