A citizens’ meet at the Guwahati Press Club on Saturday asked the Government to immediately form a special cell to nab the pavement-killer, known as Stoneman, who has so far claimed several lives in the city.
The meeting, organized by the Journalists Forum, Assam (JFA) and chaired by Rupam Baruah, demanded that night shelters for the city homeless be built in certain areas. The homeless include not only beggars, but a great number of migrant workers too, engaged in rickshaw-pulling, thela-pulling and other livelihoods. These shelters should have all sanitary facilities. There should be specified spots around religious sites, only where beggars should be allowed to accept eatables and take them.
The citizens also demanded proper registration of the homeless population in the city. They suggested a study to go into the roots of these people so that proper schemes could be undertaken for their well-being. Various Central and State government funds, meant for the development of urban areas, should also be spent for the welfare of the homeless. Moreover, the names of NGOs, granted official funds to work for the urban poor, should be made public and the heads where they have spent the money.
In another demand, the meeting asked the Government to provide means of livelihood to the beggars, numbering more than a thousand.
Speakers at the meeting deplored the State Government for sitting pretty on various memoranda from various organizations on the security and livelihoods of the homeless.
The speakers included social workers Sanjeev Sabhapandint, Jayanta Gogoi, lecturer Dr Jagadindra Roychoudhury, and journalists Hiten Mahanta, Nava Thakuria, Ranen Kumar Goswami, Sunil Bora, Prabin Thakuria, Dipen Bayan, P.K. Deb Sharma, Jayanta Konwar and Safar Ahmed.
Released by Rupam Baruah, Hiten Mahanta, Nava Thakuria and Ranen Kumar Goswami