No helping hand for night shelter destroyed by storm

NGOs working for the homeless say that a porta cabin shelter was destroyed on May 30 when the capital was rocked by a massive storm.

They have been asking the city government body, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, to repair it but no action has been initiated so far. The shelter still remains in a dilapidated condition.

Non-profit organisations say that the DUSIB Night Shelter Code 126 at Yamuna Pusta was “completely” destroyed and some of its parts were even blown away.

An NGO, Beghar Majdoor Sangharsh Samiti, has been sending emails to DUSIB regarding the issue. “We have been asking DUSIB to repair the shelter home as soon as possible,” read an email.
“But no action has been taken as yet. When we call up the board, officials say that this shelter won’t be repaired now as the shelter has been shut down,” it said.

“Officials say that the porta cabin shelter home will be put up somewhere else. But we want it to be placed where it was, otherwise it will cause a huge inconvenience to people who used to stay there,” said Ashok Pandey, Director of the NGO.

To bring the matter to notice, another NGO wrote to the Lieutenant Governor. “We want that the porta cabin shelter to be set up immediately as it was a home to many of the destitutes,” said Sunil Kumar Aledia of Centre of Holistic Development.

But the occupancy rate at the shelter was on a decline during the summer season, said an official with DUSIB.

“The shelter used to house over 70 people in winter. In summer, the number of occupants declines due to lack of electricity and drinking water facilities,” said Aledia.

“Another reason for low occupancy is that the shelter becomes unbearably hot in summer as it is made of tin,” he added.

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