‘Odai Kuppam tenants should also be given relief’

A day after the blaze in Odai Kuppam near Besant Nagar that left close to a 100 families homeless, activists and social workers in the city have called for effective rehabilitation measures.
‘Odai Kuppam tenants should also be given relief’
Several NGOs organising relief and food materials to those affected Wednesday by fire in Odai Kuppam

Chennai

The activists say that a majority of the slum residents live on sublet basis and their losses should be accounted for in the compensation planned for the victims. According to activists and NGO volunteers, who swung into action after the fire accident, it is going to be an uphill task to rehabilitate the slum dwellers. 
Vahidha Nizam, national secretary, AITUC, said that authorities working on rehabilitation should address the needs of the victims and not just the house owners. “Most of the houses in that settlement have been sublet. Instead of handing over the tokens for the compensation to house owners, the authorities must also factor in the tenants who lost their household articles and other important things, including ration cards and other forms of ID, in the blaze,” she says. 
Social workers also say that women and children have been affected badly. Vahidha adds, “While some have lost the salary they had just drawn, other women who are part of chit schemes and SHGs have lost the money they had collected recently. But the tricky part is that there is no proof for it. Therefore, the authorities must show empathy.” 
At present, the affected families have been accommodated in schools and in makeshift structures near the beach. Sneha Mohandoss, founder of Food Bank, who has been offering food and relief material in the area since Wednesday, says, “We can only provide relief, rehabilitation is in the hands of the government.” District Revenue Officer R Azhagu Meena, said that the Corporation is working closely with the people to provide them with necessary relief.

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