More agencies for city shelter homes

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board has introduced four more shelter management agencies to look after the functioning of 80 night shelters including permanent and temporary ones spread across the city.

At present, five shelter management agencies (SMAs) are taking care of 109 night homes.

The tender for four new SMAs was closed last week.

“It was an open tender and we received entries from 17 NGOs,” said Kamal Malhotra, Director of DUSIB (Night Shelters).

“Their technical evaluation is underway,” he added.

These SMAs will look after 80 shelter homes in four clusters spread in east, northeast, Shahdara, southeast, west, north and northwest Delhi, so one agency will be heading 20 night shelters.

Earlier, a shelter management agency consisted of one or many NGOs resulting in different levels of services being provided to shelter homes. But the new SMA will be run by one NGO.

“The Shelter Management Agencies are tasked with providing similar services at all the night shelters under it. Our main aim is to extend similar facilities to all the shelter homes across the city,” said Malhotra.

One of the roles of the SMA is to motivate homeless to move to shelter homes. “It is the mandate of the SMA to make sure no destitute spends a night out in the open,” Malhotra said.

The new SMAs started their operations since December 2014. Prior to that there were 55 SMAs running 184 shelter homes.

“The DUSIB is in the process of having a limited number of SMAs monitoring shelter,” said an official.

According to NGOs, there are nearly 1.5 lakh destitutes in the city, but the DUSIB survey conducted in 2014 only managed to find 16,760.

The DUSIB claims there are 222 night shelters that can accommodate 15,000 homeless in the city.

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