What we do
What we do? AAA adopts rights based two pronged strategy- a) campaign mode; b) service delivery. To bring the vision into practice, has initiated several subjects to address the problems of homeless people.
1.) Facilitating Collective Action(FCA) aims at realization of the rights of the homeless people in Delhi as guaranteed by the constitution of India 1949 and highlighted in other International Human Rights Conventions and Treaties (Universal Declaration of Human Right 1948 (UDHR). It strives to achieve the said goal through various ways and means. Mobilization and meetings of the homeless from different street points, regular panchayats(meetings) with men, women and children, Abhyas Mandal- an exercise for sharing, learning and planning, workshops, exposure trips, issuance of AAA photo identity cards for the homeless persons, theatre, cultural activities, celebrations of festivals of all faiths and religions and mahapanchayat (annual large assembly of the homeless) are some of the activities organized by FCA team, to achieve its objectives.
AAA by facilitating evolution of collectives of homeless people like ‘Varishtha Nagrik Manch’ (senior citizen’s forum) discuss and take action on issues affecting them e.g. police, harassment, displacement, shelter, citizenships rights etc.
Picture of campaigning 2.) Shelters: Aashray Adhikar Abhiyan (AAA) has been working to secure safe shelters to the homeless people of Delhi where the homeless live peacefully with dignity. Towards this objective, AAA has been working in collaboration with Delhi Government through Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to manage shelters across Delhi. Round the year, it runs permanent shelters. During winter, it also runs additional temporary shelters in porta cabin, buildings or tents. These shelters are provided by government. AAA has shown the model of multiple uses of government buildings by running shelters in school, college buildings and community centres Currently, AAA runs 26 shelters (24x7) whose contain vacancy for over 3000 homeless people. Within the shelters, AAA offers the homeless a clean place and a blanket to sleep, the use of electricity, fresh drinking water, the use of a bath room, water coolers during summer, first aid and a weekly doctor’s team visit with free medicines, system for admission to hospitals in case of emergency.
(picture of shelter) Insert Table of shelters
Winter Campaign: Every year during the winter season, AAA in collaboration with Delhi Govt. makes efforts for the creation of additional shelters. All the shelters are managed by the trained homeless community workers. During the period, the entire focus of our work is on saving people’s lives from killing cold of the city.
3.) Night Action Programme(NAP)/Night Out: Night outs are planned to reach out to homeless people in their different concentration areas in Delhi at night (twice a week - from 10 PM to 4 AM). During winter nights or other calamite, such night outs are conducted on every night from 10 PM to 4 AM. It is done by a team of three trained employees of AAA which drives through the streets of Delhi by car, walking on pavements, looking for homeless people. Night-outs help to address medical emergencies, intervene in cases of police atrocities, invites, assist homeless people in seeking /accessing shelter and respond to immediate basic needs such as blankets and/or clothes in winter. Civil society volunteers, students, interns are always welcome to join this night action programme.
(picture of Night Out)
4.) Health Outreach Service (Street Clinic):
In June 2000, AAA undertook a survey of the homeless in Delhi to gain a basic understanding of the lives of the homeless and find out about the problems they face. This survey revealed that many homeless people suffer from serious health problems but often do not go to hospital or seek medical help.
In September 2000, a Health Outreach Service for the homeless was started in the Walled City of Delhi. This outreach service goes to Urdu Park, Meena Bazar in the Walled City (near Jama Masjid) twice a week on Monday and Thursday between 7.00 – 9.00 p.m. in summer and 6.00 – 8.00 p.m. in winter. This intervention is called as Health Intervention Group for Homeless (HIGH) consisting of long lasting partnership with Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) & Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA).
This health outreach service has three components, a) general health; drug addiction; and severe mental illness. This service provides free street based clinic’s services for homeless patients with general health problems, severe mental illness, and counselling & clinical treatment for drug de- addiction. AAA supports logistics and rehabilitation process of the recovered/under recovery patients. Additional services include medicine, counseling and referrals to specialized health care services. AAA also provides attendants when patients are hospitalized.
a) General Health Illness: This service provides free street based clinic’s services for homeless patients with general health problems. The most common general health problems include respiratory illnesses, gastroenteritis, skin diseases, infected wounds, worms, arthritis, urinary tract infections, TB and STDs. Medication is provided free of costs.
b) Drug de-addiction: sThe objective is to free homeless from substance dependence as well as to improve their quality of life. This is being achieved through dual process of group sharing sessions and individual counseling sessions. Through these sessions the homeless are motivated to go for clinical treatment and thereafter for rehabilitation.
c) Severe Mental Illness: Under the programme a clinic is organized in the open at Meena Bazar, Urdu park, Jama Masjid with the help of senior psychiatrists and medicines from Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).
Delhi State Legal Service Authority (DSLSA) helps in securing the presence of a Metropolitan magistrate to pass appropriate order under the Mental Health Act 1987 for necessary treatment. AAA undertakes responsibility of bringing severely mentally ill patients from streets to the clinic for diagnosis and treatment. AAA has the responsibility of record keeping of the mentally ill homeless who come to the clinic so that their presence can be secured for subsequent clinics as required by the Doctors. AAA also provides support mechanisms (Food, Clothing, Hygiene items & Shelter) for the patient whilst in the community such as monitoring the behavioral movements of the patient and administration of prescribed medications.
(picture of HIGH)
5.) Enabling Children at School: Every child should have the chance to go to school. But it’s not just about getting them into the classroom. It’s also about making sure they are well taught and that what they learn actually improves their opportunities in life. We concentrate on primary and lower secondary education, improving learning, reaching out to more children especially those in streets. Along with providing formal education and tutoring to homeless children, we also have separate shelter space for children and provide free nutritious meals and allied opportunities for overall growth and development.
Programme for the Elderly: Ageing affects our lives differently in different sections of society. A common worry is whether we will be able to stay in our homes and who will take care of us if we need medical assistance or help with personal care or housework. This concern is often echoed by our family members. AAA has an exclusive program that provides and coordinates all needed health, social, rehabilitative, and personal care services so that senior citizen can continue living as independently as possible. ‘Varishtha Nagrik Manch’ plays an important role in this. There are specially designated elderly sections in our shelters. (picture of VNM, children prog.)
(picture of Food served)
7.) Capacity Building: By living constantly vulnerable life, the homeless end up being a person with low self-esteem, confidence and poor health. Our objective has been to mobilise, empower and strengthen homeless people so they can assert their rights to live with honour and dignity. AAA organises workshops, training sessions including informal counselling sessions and regularly supports the persons to emerge out of difficult circumstances and live independently.
(picture of session)
8.) Sensitization & Awareness: We organize various activities for raising awareness and sensitizing the civil society, corporate, educational Institutions and the government (executive, legislative and judiciary) towards the needs and issues of homeless people in Delhi. These activities help breaking myths and promoting understanding about homeless people. Sensitization programs are carried out for school/ college students, police, health personnel, corporate etc.
9.) Celebrating brotherhood and Communal Harmony:
The homeless people at cities are a result of migration from different states to cities majorly in search of livelihood. Obviously, they are from different social, cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. To promote brotherhood and communal harmony among homeless citizen, AAA celebrates festivals of all religions (Eid, Holi, Diwali, Lohri,Christmas,Guru Nanak B’day by observing puja, distributing sweets among themselves and national days like independence, republic day with homeless by hoisting flag in the morning, eating together at shelters as well as on street points.
10.) Skill Development and Capacity Building for better Livelihood:
AAA also wants to empower homeless people on a personal level. AAA believes that every single person has potential and perspective in life. There is always a certain amount of capacity in every homeless person.
That is why AAA develops AAA-Activity Unit; a chain of little self-help groups within the AAA organization which produce commodities regularly or on basis of market demand. By offering them a chance to work in a company within a secure area, guided by professional social workers and formal experience-experts, AAA wants to encourage these homeless people to make use of their own capacity again. In the end, they might become aware of their own capacity and possibilities in life and become able to provide in their own needs again.
Recently once again, AAA started up a kitchen, called ‘Food On Demand’, which delivers freshly cooked, full meals to regular customers within homeless population for a reasonable price. Another activity, called ‘Soap On Demand’, is still under construction, and a third activity named as ‘Creations’ produces art work seasonal products like incense sticks, candles, variety of art work and cloth items.
Display--(picture kitchen); products
11.) Research & Documentation: AAA is committed to influence policy as one of Delhi longest established organization on homelessness; we understand the complex issues faced by the homeless. We work towards influencing the government on creating homeless friendly policies which support vulnerable homeless people.
AAA committed to create evidence by documenting stories, case studies and undertaking primary research to find out more about the needs, aspirations and problem of homeless people using participatory research tools.
Give List of Publications
12.) Networking & Advocacy: Since the problem of homelessness is complex and gigantic in nature, this problem can’t be solved by AAA alone. Therefore AAA believes in networking with like-minded organizations, forums and Institutions.