Hyderabad: It was around 10 pm on Thursday at Clock Tower. There suddenly surfaced a swarm of people -- the homeless and orphans living in shelter homes. Bang opposite to the Clock Tower, they assembled and were interacting with citizens as well as social activists. Marking Gandhi Jayanti day that was still a couple of hours away, the event was organised by the Stars, a collaborative initiative of Aman Biradari, or Campaign for Citizens’ Shelters Network and Nirashraya Shramika Sangharshana Sanghatanan. It saw as many as 200 homeless people, orphaned children, citizens and NGOs from across the city standing together, walking together, but not exactly hand-in-hand.
It was a special night when people were invited to spend their time with homeless and orphaned kids in open areas, parks and pavements, bus stations, under the flyovers and railway platforms ,areas where homeless men, women and children sleep; and to tell the society that the homeless are also human, they are citizens and have rights like other citizens.
Homeless people from areas like Clock Tower, Yousufguda basti, Uppal, Begumpet, Puranapool, Kachiguda, Lingampally and MGBS headed to Indira Park along with activists. Orphanages along the way served them food near their homes and they converged at Dharna Chowk. The programme went on till 4am, right into the early hours of October 2 when India woke up to reminisce the Mahatma who won them the Freedom.
“Midnight hanging out is not new to me, but the one I just returned from is different. It’s by the homeless people living in shelter homes. Having some fun at the generally notorious Dharna Chowk is an altogether different and enlightening experience,” said Sanjeev Kumar, a citizen who attended the programme....