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Lockdown Diaries

Plight of a homeless accident victim

Jagadeesha speaking to Manager of shelter

Jagadeesha is from Budanahalli village, Tarikere Taluk, Chikkamagaluru District. He came to Bengaluru in search of casual labour work a year ago. He found work as a cleaner in a hotel in Chandapura earning Rs.8000/-  per month. Spending only Rs.1500 for himself, he used to send the rest to his family, to support them. Jagadeesha has a family back in the village. His wife & two sons live in a joint family with Jagashish’s 90 year old father & brothers. Jagadeesha’s younger brother works on their four acres of dry arid land as a farmer.

Jagadeesha used to visit his home once in 3 months.

All the money sent to the village is used for household expenses and repayment of a loan they incurred to meet hospitalization expenses of his elder brother Nagaraj and mother. Nagaraj had met with an accident five years ago & had lost his right leg. His mother had suffered from severe health problem due to kidney failure and later died. 

Unfortunately nine months ago, while Jagadeesha was crossing the Main road in Chandapura, a biker hit him and as a result his left leg was fractured. Following this, the biker also hit another person in which both the biker and person died on the spot. 

Jagadeesha was taken by the Hebbagodi Police and admitted at Sanjay Gandhi Institute of Trauma & Orthopedics. Emergency treatment was provided and cast was put for the fracture. After discharge from the hospital, police managed to put him up in Shivashakthi Ashrama, Kalenahalli. 

The Ashram charges Rs.8000/- per month per person for staying for dormitory accommodation and Rs.12000/- for individual room per month per person. Initially Jagadeesha managed to stay for four months with help from the Police. However he could not continue as he did not have the required money to pay for the stay. So the  Police  brought him to Nammane – Goods Shed Road Shelter on 28th February 2020. 

Jagadeesha has not received any compensation for the accident nor has he completed his treatment. Another surgery was due. But due to lock down he could not get treatment for more than 8 months. 

Project Nammane supported him to get his second surgery. Jagadeesha continues to live in shelter as follow up is needed. IIC is taking care of his treatment.

Happy Family Reunion

Vijay Rai is around 35 years. He hails from Udupi district of Karnataka. He is single and works as a cook in a hotel in Bengaluru. He was an alcoholic. He had studied up to PUC. He moved to Bengaluru, as he wanted to be independent. He had not visited his family for last five years. During lockdown he was brought to one of the temporary shelters being run by Project Nammane

In the shelter, yoga and games are part of the everyday life. The shelter manager Nagendra spends personal time with some of these residents to help them handle the challenges they are facing. Nagendra on his part did some counseling and motivated Vijay Raj to visit his family. He even got him to speak to his mother over the phone. After the rehabilitation efforts, Vijay decided to go home. On reaching his place, he called Nagendra. Both mother & son are happy with the reunion.  Vijay’s  mother  thanked Nagendra for his interest and support.

Helpless pregnant woman

It was on 27th March when the Lockdown was just clamped & all movements of vehicles & people were strictly prohibited. Many of the people who were stranded on the streets were taken to some institutions. That is the time when Mary (name changed) was brought by Police to Nammane – Good Shed Road shelter. 

Mary was pregnant & all alone. The shelter was a men only shelter, so she was given  shelter on top of terrace. The lady manager of the shelter was the only woman companion to this lady. Her clothes were filthy and it seemed as if she had not bathed for days. Mary spoke little and said that she had always lived on the streets. She had no clue how many months pregnant she was. The night she was brought to the shelter,  she developed pains. Immediately, she was taken to the major government maternity hospital. The doctor who examined her observed that there were two months to go for the delivery and so no need for panic. Mary was advised to get some rest in the shelter.  As she was alone and would not share any other detail, help was sought through one of the NGO partner who arranged for a temporary shelter in an small maternity hospital. But this agreement was only  for that night.

The following day, the shelter manager collected the hospital reports of Mary, got her Covid test done, informed & sought permission of the Police to take her to St.Michael’s home where homeless pregnant women are taken care. The Consultant of the project guided the manager at every step and arranged Mary’s stay in St.Michael’s home, where sheis given food, medical care  and shelter. 

Later the Institute informed that Mary tested HIV positive and follow up was being done to address her future needs. Mary delivered a baby girl in two months. It was highly probable that Mary was a victim of sexual abuse on the streets. 

Agriculturist turned Cook

Muniraju, a 32 year old bachelor was basically an agriculturist from Madhugiri taluk which is about 130 kms away Bengaluru. He received education up to PUC (secondary schooling). Irregular rains meant he could not sustain a livelihood in agriculture. 

He came to Bengaluru to support his large poor family. Muniraju has six siblings. He got a job as cook in a hotel. However, due to COVID lock down, the hotel was closed and he was sent to the streets. 

Muniraju was sent to the Nammane shelter by the Police. He was not aware of the shelter facility earlier. As he knew cooking, he was appointed as a cook at the shelter. Muniraju loves to read books in his free time. He has been requesting the staff to allow him to stay on in the Shelter until he finds an alternate job in Bengaluru.

Four young Migrants caught in Lock down

The four young men got struck in the temporary shelter during lockdown. They were very keen to go to any work. BBMP authorities were looking for room boys to work in a hotel with quarantine facility. The shelter staff facilitated the entire process to meet both parties’ needs. 

Initially it was suggested that the men have to work voluntarily. The young men agreed. They worked for three weeks. Post this, each of them was provided food and accommodation along with Rs.2500 as payment. 

When the lockdown was relaxed and with the opening of the transportation facility, the men happily returned to their homes ailing with some money earned during the lockdown.

Woman from Howrah, Kolkata

Durga (name changed) is an illiterate young  woman. She was sent by an agency from Howrah, Kolkatta to work as a domestic help for a Bengali family in Bengaluru. 

A widow, Durga was the only breadwinner of her family. She had an aged mother, with whom she had left her small children when she came to the city. 

With the lockdown in place and a fear of Covid, she was evicted by her ruthless employer. She had neither money to go back to her home, nor transportation. The tricky employer had even delete his contacts from her phone. 

While wandering on the streets, she managed to escape sexual abuse and was protected by some passerby.  Later Durga was sent to Nammane shelter home by the Police. She stayed safely in Nammane for almost four months. 

During this period there were heavy floods in Kolkatta. Durga was worried about the safety of her family, as her residential area was also under floods. She was very upset and needed to be pacified. IIC team provided all the care and counselling. 

As soon as transport was restored, Durga was sent to her native place by the IIC team. A follow up was also done to ensure that she reached safely and reunited with her family.