“Homeless, Beggars Should Work For The Country”: Bombay HC Says Govt Can’t Give Everything

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime’. Well, it seems the Bombay High Court has tried to honor exactly this sentiment while hearing a PIL recently.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL that sought meal three times daily, free shelters and clean public toilets. In addition to this, free drinking water, soaps and period supplies were demanded for those who were homeless, reports The Indian Express.

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However, the Bench observed, “They (the homeless) should also work for the country. Before they are provided shelters, where is a position that they will also work? There is employment or livelihood provided for them under government schemes. Everyone is working.

“Everything cannot be provided by the government, otherwise it will increase their numbers. You (petitioner) are just encouraging the increasing of such a population of society.”

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Earlier in June, the court asked BMC why shelter homes cannot be built in every ward. The BMC counsel has now responded by sharing the number of food packets being distributed to the homeless and confirmed that sanitary napkins were given to 1,300 poor women.

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Additional Government Pleader Geeta Shastri further added that state govt has offered the homeless free meals from meal dispensing units called ‘Shiv Bhojanalay’ amid pandemic.

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The Bench noted, “We are of the considered opinion that the State and the Corporation are taking steps in the right directions for food, water, napkins etc for homeless within the limits of their capacity and no direction is required at this stage from this court for augmenting the distribution. PIL petition stands disposed of.”

What do you think of this decision?

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