Policy Engagements and Blogs

CPR-CSH Workshop on Becoming Homeless in Delhi: ‘Entry’ Typologies

November 20, 2019


Watch the full video (above) of the CPR – CSH (Centre de Sciences Humaines) workshop on ‘Becoming Homeless in Delhi: ‘Entry’ Typologies’ featuring Ashwin Parulkar.

Based on 60 life history interviews of migrant labourers on the streets and in shelters of North Delhi’s Yamuna Pushta, Parulkar presented a set of typologies on how people from poor agricultural families in rural Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and Jharkhand became homeless in the nation’s capital. Select calamities, or adverse experiences, that were common in these men’s childhoods catalysed various ‘entry’ pathways into homelessness that he discussed. They include deaths of parents, pressures induced by poverty to support family members and physical abuse in early life. These catastrophes, however, spurred various coping mechanisms and degrees of further poverty which resulted in different types of homelessness – that is, living in the city without housing indefinitely (chronically homeless) or living itinerantly between the city and home (transiently homeless). These typologies emphasise dimensions of poverty not captured by urban poverty and homelessness measures, such as abandonment, strained to ruptured family bonds and the erosion of household and community support structures over time. Parulkar discussed how these catastrophes are produced by destitution and should therefore be identified as risks, or vulnerabilities, that certain poor rural people in India plausibly face to future homelessness.

Ashwin Parulkar is a Senior Researcher at CPR where he focuses on causes, survival conditions, and exit pathways associated with homelessness in Delhi.

The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here.

Find all available videos of previous workshops here.