Govt tasks volunteers to inspect night shelters

The urban development department has called for volunteers to inspect shelter homes spread across the city, a day after six homeless shivered to death near Kashmere Gate on Saturday.

Some 110 volunteers have been tasked to inspect 210 shelter homes starting Tuesday. These visits will be carried out at night.

Shelters in Yamuna Pusta, Sarai Kale Khan, Mayur Vihar and Trilokpuri will be inspected on the first day.

The volunteers will look at basic facilities being given to the homeless at these shelters. They will assess the capacity of the night shelters and the actual occupancy at these homes, said Praveen Deshmukh, who is organising the volunteers.

There is a checklist prepared by the department, which includes number of blankets, whether there are toilets nearby and how many of them are functional, he added. “Importance will also be given to the number of people sleeping in the open nearby a shelter home,” Deshmukh said.

The drinking water facility with the number of taps in working condition and electricity at these shelter homes will also be checked.

The volunteers will also check whether the complaint number and other instructions are written in Hindi. “Sometimes, the complaint number is not mentioned at the shelter home and if it is, the instructions are in English. How will destitutes understand English?” said Deshmukh.

The reports will be sent to the Delhi urban development department, which will then be forwarded to Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, he added.

Sisodia appeals to people

Urban development minister Manish Sisodia appealed to the homeless to sleep at night shelters nearby and save themselves from severe cold conditions.

Six homeless persons sleeping in the open near Nigambodh Ghat were found dead in the early hours of Saturday. NGOs working for the destitutes said the night shelters in the locality have no space left.

The toll in the neighbourhood near Kashmere Gate has already reached 11 in two months. The rain and cold wave on Friday night are being blamed for the loss of these lives.

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