Fighting an Emerging Crisis: Elderly & Homeless

May 5


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Summary: The crisis of homelessness affects millions globally, including a significant number in developed nations. In India, where the issue is particularly acute, initiatives like The Akshaya Patra Foundation are making strides by providing essential services such as daily nutritious meals to homeless mothers, addressing both hunger and dignity.


Understanding Global Homelessness

Homelessness represents one of the most severe forms of deprivation and human rights violations worldwide. It transcends geographical and economic boundaries,Fighting an Emerging Crisis: Elderly & Homeless Articles affecting both developed and developing nations. The United Nations Economic and Social Council emphasizes that adequate housing involves more than just physical structures; it includes security, affordability, and accessibility to essential services, thereby highlighting the broader implications of homelessness.

Homelessness in India: A Closer Look

In India, homelessness is defined broadly, including individuals living on streets, under flyovers, and other uninhabitable spaces. According to the 2011 Census, India has approximately 1.77 million homeless individuals, with urban areas accounting for over 900,000 of this population. This places India sixth among countries with the largest homeless populations, a list that also includes the United States, Nigeria, and Germany, among others (source).

The demographics of homelessness in India are diverse, encompassing men, women, children, the elderly, and disabled individuals. The challenges they face are multifaceted, ranging from lack of shelter and vulnerability to violence, to limited access to healthcare, food, and education.

The Plight of Homeless Women and Mothers

Homeless women, particularly mothers, face acute challenges. They endure extreme vulnerability to violence and exploitation and bear the brunt of protecting their children under harsh conditions. India also has a significant number of widowed women, estimated at 40 million, many of whom are also homeless and face societal abandonment (source).

The Role of Akshaya Patra

The Akshaya Patra Foundation, a renowned NGO in India, has extended its services to address the needs of homeless mothers by providing nutritious meals daily. This initiative not only aims to meet the basic caloric needs, which range from 1800-2200 calories per day for moderately active women, but also to offer meals that are fresh, nutritious, and hygienically prepared.

Impact and Outreach

Akshaya Patra is well-known for its mid-day meal program, which has been supporting school children across India for over 21 years. Currently, the foundation serves mid-day meals to nearly 1.8 million children daily across multiple states and territories. Their efforts extend beyond routine services, providing crucial support during emergencies such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Homeless Mothers: How You Can Help

The continuation of feeding programs for homeless mothers relies heavily on donations and public support. Contributions to Akshaya Patra ensure that these women receive their daily meals, thus supporting their health and dignity. Donations can be made easily online, providing immediate assistance to those in need.

Call to Action

Generous donations can significantly impact the lives of homeless mothers by providing them with necessary nutrition and a sense of care. By spreading the word about Akshaya Patra’s initiatives, you can help amplify the impact and reach more individuals in need.

In conclusion, while homelessness remains a daunting global challenge, targeted interventions like those by The Akshaya Patra Foundation provide a beacon of hope and a model for compassionate action towards vulnerable populations.