People
0

Mayor Najafi Meets Homeless, Addicts in Poor Districts

In the early hours of his second day in office on Tuesday, Mohammad Ali Najafi made an unannounced visit to shelters for the homeless and addict rehabilitation centers in downtown Tehran
Mayor Najafi Meets Homeless, Addicts in Poor DistrictsMayor Najafi Meets Homeless, Addicts in Poor Districts

Addressing and removing social ills afflicting the capital appears to be on top of the agenda of the newly-elected mayor. In the early hours of his second day in office on Tuesday, Mohammad Ali Najafi made an unannounced visit to shelters for the homeless and addict rehabilitation centers in downtown Tehran.

He visited several areas in Tehran’s District 12, including, Molavi, Shoush, Oraqchiha, and Harandi neighborhoods to get a first-hand view of the problems and assess the condition of the rehabilitation centers that have long been stretched, ISNA reported.

Underlining the issues of drug addicts, working children and beggars as a primary concern for the municipality, he said Tehran Municipality will hold a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in the coming days to find ways to alleviate the problems.

It is estimated that more than 60% of the homeless and drug addicts in the capital are migrants who travel from smaller towns and the counties around the capital in search of work. For instance, the Harandi neighborhood is one of the areas with a large population of homeless people, owing to its vicinity to a major inter-city bus terminal.

Since implementation of the ‘Harandi Neighborhood Uplifting Plan’ in 2016, thousands of homeless addicts have been forcefully admitted for treatment of infectious diseases, and the rest were sent to rehab shelters.

At the rehab centers addicts undergo detoxification for 21 days to three months, following which social workers decide whether or not they are fit to return to normal life in the society.

Baharan rehabilitation center is another facility in District 12 which offers vocational training to rehabilitated addicts.

As part of his tour, the mayor visited ‘Sobh-e Rouyesh’ school for labor children. The school, which is the first private school for street children, was established by an NGO ‘Tarannome Sobh-e-Sepid’ in the poor Darvazeh-Ghar neighborhood of Tehran.

Currently more than 150 street children are enrolled in this school. Many of them are foreign migrants and refugees, mostly Afghans, who have so far been unable to register at normal schools as they do not have proper identity papers.

Last week an official with the Education Ministry, Rezvan Hakimzadeh, said children without identity cards can enroll in the schools by showing their education cards issued by the Interior Ministry.

  Promise of a Better City

At the first Tehran City Council meeting last week, Najafi had pledged transparency, promising to disclose every contract signed by the municipality under his watch worth more than 10 billion rials ($262,000). He also promised to prepare a comprehensive report on the dire state of the metropolis within three months.

Najafi, 66, is a veteran reformist and a senior economic advisor to President Hassan Rouhani. He served as minister of education for eight years under the late president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (1989-97) and was Rouhani’s top choice for the same portfolio in 2013, but failed to secure enough votes in parliament, which at that time was controlled by Rouhani’s political opponents as they had a majority in the law-making institution.

He was later appointed to run the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization but resigned six months later, citing poor health. Najafi also served as the head of the Management and Planning Organization from 1997 to 2000.

 

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints

Financialtribune.com