The eviction of homeless people to the city’s outskirts which became a major embarrassment for the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC), brought happiness for a woman who reunited with her husband after 15 days.
A resident of Damodar Nagar, Pushpa Salvi, 52, found her missing 55-year-old mentally unstable husband on Sunday after a municipal officer called her.
“My husband went missing on January 3. I searched for him a lot but didn’t find him. I lodged a complaint with police on January 15 but police also failed to locate him,” Pushpa Salvi said.
“On January 30, I got a call from a person who introduced himself as an officer of IMC. He asked me my husband’s name and his whereabouts. When I told him that he was missing, he told me that he was at Nipaniya’s by-pass. I hired a taxi and the officer directed the driver to the exact location,” said Salvi.
She said that when she reached the site she found about six people including her husband sitting on the ground. “The IMC officials at the site allowed me to take my husband with me. I took him to a hospital for a health check-up. The doctor allowed him to go home on Monday,” said Salvi.
Salvi said, “I came to know later that my husband was one of the victims, who were dumped outside the city by IMC officials.”
The IMC had come under fire on Saturday after a video went viral showing municipal employees dropping elderly homeless people from a truck near Shipra village of the district. After villagers objected to such callous behavior, the IMC employees were seen herding the people back in the truck
“If the villagers had not opposed the act of IMC officials of dumping elderly homeless people, I might have lost my husband for forever. IMC officials tried to locate the family members of these people including my husband after chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took action against them,” Salvi added.
Chandan Nagar police station town inspector Yogesh Tomar said Salvi’s husband became mentally unstable after an accident a few years ago
“I am happy that Pushpa Salvi found her husband. The woman works as a daily wage earner and used to live alone with her husband. Her husband was injured in an accident a few years ago and became mentally ill,” said the police officer.
Despite repeated attempts, IMC commissioner Pratibha Pal could not be contacted for comment.
Following the outrage over the dumping of the elderly homeless people, the chief minister suspended IMC deputy commissioner Pratap Singh Solanki and sacked two contractual employees.
The Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) has also sought a report from the state’s chief secretary, Indore divisional commissioner, district collector and IMC chief.