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Community Development

GHMC builds 'wall of kindness' where needy can take their pick

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The New Indian Express             15.06.2017  

GHMC builds 'wall of kindness' where needy can take their pick

Want to help others, but don't know how?

The GHMC has come up with a unique solution for those who want to make a difference in others' lives, but do not know how to go about doing it.
On Wednesday morning, many people could be seen gathering around the 'Wall of kindness' created to bring together those who want to make a difference and those who need help.

Found at two spots in Rajendranagar, the `Wall of kindness' allows people to leave clothing, footwear, books or just about any household article so that those who need these items can come there and pick them up.

"Scores of people came to both the places and left things.Several others took what they wanted," GHMC Rajendranagar official G Anjaneyulu said. The inititative is part of the `Swachh Rajendranagar' campaign which comes under the `Swacch Hyderabad' movement. "People were pleasantly surprised at seeing the `Wall of kindness' at the two places. Quite a few of them returned to put more stuff," Anjaneyulu said.

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GHMC commissioner B Janardhan Reddy, was inspired to implement the concept in the city after seeing it abroad. GHMC Rajendranagar zonal commissioner S Srinivas Reddy and his team selected the two spots at Rajendranagar keeping in mind the number of people who pass by. Srinivas Reddy is planning to have another two or three such places where people can show their kindness. The concept is expected to be implemented all over the city.

Considering that this is rainy season, officials are also putting up sheds to ensure that people's kindness is not dampened by the rain.

GHMC focus on forming more SHGs

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The Hindu        12.06.2017   

GHMC focus on forming more SHGs

Self-help groups to create awareness on sanitation

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) has targeted to form 2,632 Self Help Groups (SHGs) during this year. It wants to involve SHGs to create awareness on sanitation, segregation, house-to-house garbage collection and also to coordinate these groups with auto trolley drivers and sanitary field assistants in ensuring proper disposal and transport to transfer stations.

Commissioner B. Janardhan Reddy said bank linkage of Rs. 10 lakh each would be provided to about 11 groups which have already cleared loans by August 15.

There was also a proposal to start another five night shelters in addition to the existing 12 with SHGs assistance. The civic body was keen on strengthening the existing Urban Community Development (UCD) wing and last year 12,082 SHGs were processed with Rs. 298 crore loans through bank linkage. Close to 8,823 beneficiaries for single women pensions were identified and 25 sites for community toilets would be built, the Commissioner said.


Night shelter promises new life for transgenders

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The Hindu        25.05.2017  

Night shelter promises new life for transgenders

Feeling at home:The night shelter on McNicholas Road at Chetpet in Chennai.K. Pichumani  

Chennai Corporation opens new facility; vocational training to 25 residents

The brown and white tiled building stands at the end of a lane in Chetpet. Clothes are drying on a line outside and a brightly-coloured, hand-made sign proclaims that the building is dedicated to transgenders. Inside, a large room opens out on the right, where several residents are gathered. Some have gone out, likely for work.

The city’s first night shelter for transgenders, which was opened a month and a half ago by the Chennai Corporation and is run by the NGO SIP Memorial Trust, already has 25 residents, its full capacity. The shelter is a welfare-to-work initiative, a half-way house where transgenders who have trouble finding accommodation and gainful employment can stay temporarily, and during which time receive vocational training so they can get jobs, become self-sustaining and move on.

Spurned by families

Sitting on a mat with others, J. Kalaivani, one of the residents, talks about an issue that many in the transgender community face — lack of acceptance from their families. “I have not spoken to my parents in three years. I’m in touch with a few relatives, but even if I call my parents, they do not pick up,” said the 32-year-old.

Others have similar stories: K. Kanimozhi’s family told her that she can come home only on the condition that she dresses as a man. With a diploma in electrical technology, Kanimozhi is now looking for a job. P. Sumithra, who said she has a B.Tech degree, saw her family last year, but only because of her brother’s wedding. “I had to dress as a man to take part in the function,” she said, distressed.

She, like some of the others at the home, is looking for a job. In the meantime, she is dependent on “collections”. “We can change our lives with a job,” said Ms. Kalaivani.

If forced to leave their parental homes, many in the transgender community find it difficult to get accommodation for rent — Ms. Sumithra said landlords charged them higher rates than normal, and even if they did get homes, they are often unable to keep up with the rent since they don’t have steady jobs. “This home is very useful for us — it is comfortable, the neighbours are social, and the locality is good,” said Sumithra, adding, “There should be more such homes across the State.”

The shelter — the only one for transgenders — is one of 47 run by the Corporation in the city for various groups of people. In 2012, the Corporation Council passed a resolution to rope in NGOs to run the shelters. The residents at the transgender shelter are from different parts of the State and stay for varying lengths — S. Raghavi, for instance, is from Hosur and came with a friend. “They can stay here for four months, until they are back on their feet. We are helping with their rehabilitation and with employment opportunities,” said N. Manoj, a social worker with the NGO that runs the home. Jaya Devi, trustee of the NGO, said skill training will be provided as per their interests in a month’s time. This will include courses for beauticians and in embroidery and fashion design. She said that one resident had already found a job and is going to move out.

More may be built

Last year, the State government allotted 236 tenements to transgenders in Tiruvottiyur. While the residents said this was a good move, not all members of the community have been housed there, and the distance from the city is a hindrance, they said.

Some came to know about the Chetpet shelter through word-of-mouth and took residence there. Anjali, an only child too, was not accepted by her family. She heard about the shelter from others in the community and arrived a week ago. The 21-year-old is on dialysis twice a week, and is struggling financially.

The shelter attempts to offer a home atmosphere for the residents. On Tuesday morning, there was dosa for breakfast and fish curry for lunch. While the Corporation provides provisions for dinner, the other two meals are sponsored by charitable or other organisations.

The building, however, has several problems, said Jaya Devi, trustee of the SIP Memorial Trust. There is no compound wall and anti-socials often drink and create a ruckus around the building, she said, adding that they had a sent a letter to the Corporation requesting the building of a wall. There is also no Metrowater facility. “Some of our residents work as cooks and security guards. We need the Corporation to provide these basic amenities. We worked for five years to get this home opened by the Corporation — there was a huge need for it, but it took a while. Also, this building can only house 25 residents. We had wanted one with space for 50,” she said.

A Corporation official said residents would be rehabilitated in four to six months depending on their skills. Regarding opening more such shelters, he said that would depend on the success of the Chetpet shelter.

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