Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Can Religious Institutions be a Home for the Homeless?

Yesterday night while going towards my room, I noticed a homeless woman, with a child in her lap, sitting in the footpath. It made me think about the kind of life she was leading and also about the fate of her child.  At that very moment, I noticed a temple just nearby. It was spread over a sprawling campus and is usually filled with devotees. Then a thought came to my mind. Why can’t these religious institutions provide a place for these kinds of homeless people?

Religious Institutions who have space within their campus can provide a shelter to these people. All these people need is a place with a roof, which can shelter them from rain, cold and heat, which can shelter their children from the dirt from the roadside and prevent them from getting sick. And, if possible, a meal can also be provided by the authorities of that religious institution to such people. 

Nobody pays much attention to the homeless; neither the government nor the common people. There are no voices to speak on behalf of them. But, let’s not forget, they are all our fellow human beings. My heart aches however thinking about the children who grow up on these streets. What will be their future? We talk about the Right to Education Act, but can that Act ensure the education of these children when they grow up? Malnourishment and disease may even cause their death at an early age. If religious institutions take up the custody of these children up to a certain age and take care of their meals and arrange for their basic education, with or without financial support from the people who pray in those places that would be indeed a welcome step. Steps, even if preliminary, taken in this regard would surely have an impact. 

I don’t know how feasible this idea is, but I really think that this may be implemented. If you are reading this, I would want you to kindly provide me some suggestions to improve upon this idea. I want to try to get this idea implemented and will surely make efforts to get this going. Kindly share your views.