Bihar has seen a significant step in the rate of urban population growth, creating a complex socio-economic process. It is not only migration and transfer of population from rural areas to urban areas, but it also changes the social fabric and demographic structure as well as occupation, lifestyle, culture and behavior. It is a general phenomenon, yet it has very different manifestations across regions and levels of development of cities.
Patna, the capital of the state of Bihar, is one of the fastest growing cities in India, although the city has long been ranked among the poorest urban settlements in India. While Patna is regarded as a place of opportunity, it has also created conditions in which poverty pervades.Many migrants are unable to access the benefits available in the cities. Issues relate to identification of the homeless, access to basic amenities such as safe housing, humane working conditions, nutrition and food security, humane abuse-violence, safe drinking water, affordable quality education and health care.The city administration is unable or unwilling to address these issues.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, DVAS worked with district and state government departments to implement special measures to try and prevent the spread of the pandemic among homeless and inadequately housed people in the city of Patna, who due to their poverty faced increasing vulnerability.
To ensure the livelihood of these urban homeless families, Organization has provided financial support to 300 people like vegetable shop, egg, rickshaw puller, singer shop. The hawkers, along with tea and litti pakodas, fish shops, sell ingredients on festival occasions, which seem to ensure sustained livelihood options .They were also registered as street vendors under State Urban Livelihood Mission (SULM)of the state along with issuance of identity cards for 1500 homeless people, unorganized laborers and women domestic workers. Initiatives are being undertaken to bring such informal sector urban workers into the mainstream of the society by organizing interface and promoting association with the social security schemes.
2800 poor families were registered as below poverty line families and linked to Public Distribution System (PDS) and started getting regular food supply every month.
The organization has working experience on urban poverty with civil society organizations, political representatives, socially prominent people in Patna and Bodh Gaya to connect them to the mainstream by conducting a state level campaign for the urban poor and homeless.