CoronaResponse > Koshish


About Koshish

Koshish is a TISS Field Action Project initiated in August 2006 with the primary objective of repealing the draconian beggary prevention law, which fails to recognise the circumstances that force people towards destitution and criminalises poverty. Koshish acknowledges the historical and contextual realities like resistance and exclusion faced by de-notified communities, transgender community, persons with mental illness, those affected by leprosy, etc. It aims to humanise existing institutions under the beggary prevention law and work towards the rehabilitation of custodialised populations living in beggars’ homes. It also works towards creation of policies and programmes for homeless populations and those who live at the margins of society in urban areas. Koshish operates in Delhi, Bihar and Maharashtra. 

Covid-19 Initiatives

Koshish has immediately responded, even prior to the lockdown,  to the severe crisis created for the homeless by the Covid-19 pandemic, due to loss of livelihood, difficulty in complying with the lockdown norms due to lack of shelter, absence of ration cards and other difficulties. Koshish has also been responding to the needs of its clients in institutional settings. Some interventions provide immediate relief to the affected groups while some aim at long term systemic response through advocacy. A brief summary follows. For more details, please refer to this note.


  • Intervention in Beggars’ Homes and Kasturba Women’s Shelter Home from February end. This involved additional diet, and material for safety (masks, sanitisers etc.).
  • Dry rations and materials for safety to the homeless communities in Mumbai, Thane, Delhi and Patna.
  • Coordination with government agencies and municipal bodies like BMC and NMMC for supply of cooked meals, dry rations and shelter to homeless groups. 
  • Registering homeless families for availing of the Government scheme for dry rations for non-ration card holders and monetary support for daily wage workers. 
  • Monetary support to many families in different locations, for milk, vegetables, medicines etc. 
  • Support offered to clients reintegrated with families by Koshish in the past.


  • In Mumbai, we brought up the issue of custodial populations with authorities concerned (including the Hon’ble Minister, Department of Women and Child Development, Govt. of Maharashtra) and lobbied for immediate intervention in otherwise neglected institutions. 
  • In Bihar, we wrote, receiving a positive response from the Additional Chief Secretary, Social Welfare, regarding sanitation, addressing overcrowding and special food for immunity enhancement in the child care institutions, old age homes and Beggars’ Homes.
  • We also wrote to Chairperson, Supreme Court Monitoring Committee on Homeless Shelters along with detailed suggestions for shelters for urban homeless. An Advisory was issued where inputs sent by us were included and the same have been notified for implementation across districts.
  • We sent notes to Adv. Dushyant Dave, Amicus in a Supreme Court matter on overcrowding and ways to prevent the spread in prisons and child care institutions. Some of the suggestions made by us were picked up in the Court. 
  • We sent our inputs to the Government of Maharashtra with regard to measures to be taken with regard to custodial institutions. 
  • Connected with Maharashtra Coordinator for National Urban Livelihood Mission regarding facilities at shelters for urban homeless in Maharashtra across districts. 
  • We wrote to the Union Ministry for Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India, regarding the intervention for homeless and destitute persons.
  • Campaign on Social Media regarding importance of supporting the vulnerable without compromising the dignity and decision making of the person. 
  • We are preparing a document capturing lived experiences of groups most affected during this crisis.


The restriction of movement has been a huge challenge, impacting our ability to reach out. Difficulty in procuring medicines, especially for psychiatric treatment has been another major challenge. Absence of shelters and ambiguity around relief response from the state caused chaos and apprehensions amongst homeless. Police action against homeless groups added to the pressure.

Plans and Need for Resources

All relief related interventions to continue at least for two months. We will also continue with our intervention with custodial/ institutional populations. 

Professional assistance will be introduced in the community to mitigate the psycho-social effects on homeless population, especially on children. 

The follow up on former clients shall continue.




To get in touch with us, please send an email to -

Editorial Team: Amita Bhide, Anjali Monteiro, Janki Andharia

Editorial Support and Newsletter: Anusha Ramanathan

Content Editor: Aparna Srivastava

Content coordinators/contributors: Vijay Raghavan, Aparna Joshi, Nilesh Gawde, Aseem Prakash, Rajni Konanthambigi, Faiz Ullah, Asha Banu Soletti, Ratoola Kundu, Lalitha Kamath, Chetna Duggal, Jacquleen Joseph, Lavanya Arvind, Sabah Khan, Trupti Panchal, staff of M-Ward project, Prayas, Tanda, Koshish, Special cell, and all other interventions/Field Action Projects of TISS

Wireframe and Design Inputs: K.P. Jayasankar`

IT Support: Sivakumar V and staff of TISS Computer Centre

Web Development: Dot Solutions