Dogs sleep with the homeless

Poorest of poor get no peace in sleep as animals enter shelter homes

 Finding a spot inside a shelter home is no guarantee for a good night’s sleep.
The homeless do not only have to deal with lack of mattresses and blankets but they also have to put up with dogs, rodents, cats and chickens while they sleep at shelter homes across the city.

A case in point is a shelter home in Sarai Kale Khan where a dog and chicken were seen troubling a destitute while he was fast asleep in the wee hours of Saturday.

The shelter home is run by an NGO, Sahyog Charitable Trust, headed by Rajneesh Vats. Asked how do such animals enter shelter homes, Vats said, “Sometimes the door of a night shelter is left open, which enables cats and dogs to enter the facility.”

“But most of the time the caretaker closes the door so that homeless persons are not disturbed at night,” he told Deccan Herald.

NGOs working for the destitutes said that mere setting up of shelter homes is not the solution.

“Night shelters do not mean that the homeless population is safe and secure. The city government’s body, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, has a long way to go for making their life comfortable,” said Indu Prakash Singh, Convenor of National Forum for Housing Rights.

Sorry state of affairs of shelter homes can be seen from the death of another homeless who succumbed to cold weather in the early hours of Saturday under flyover number 6 in Nizamuddin area.

Body count
The toll of unidentified bodies in the past week reached 35 across the capital, according to the figures compiled by an NGO, Centre for Holistic Development. “If the shelter homes have been equipped with adequate facilities no homeless will be forced to spend night out in the open braving the chill,” said Singh. “The real cause of these deaths are lack of planning on the part of the DUSIB.”

The dead body was found nearly 100 metres away from a shelter home. “The issue here is that why do these shelter homes remain vacant. The DUSIB should take steps to increase the occupancy of the night shelters,” Singh said.
Last year, the body of a homeless person was mauled by rodents.

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