'Not all homeless are addicts'

'Not all homeless are addicts'

Not all homeless people are addicts as portrayed by anit-drug drives, latest being the AAP’s ‘drugs chodo shelter mein jao’ conducted by MLA Alka Lamba on Sunday morning, said NGOs working for destitutes.

The need of the hour is more shelter homes across Delhi and especially around Kashmere Gate area as maximum number of unidentified bodies are found here, said an NGO, Centre for Holistic Development.

This year a total of 1,966 unidentified bodies have been found so far, of which 307 were found in Kashmere Gate only, according to the figures compiled by the NGO. In all, 3,300 unidentified bodies were found in 2014, and some 263 were found in Kashmere Gate area.
“Where should the homeless population go? They are forced to stay on the road only when there are inadequate number of shelter homes in the city,” said Sunil Kumar Aledia, founder of Centre for Holistic Development.

There are only seven shelter homes in Kashmere Gate area to accommodate over 7,000 homeless people. “Three shelter homes have been shut due to Metro construction work around two months ago. The admisnistration doesn’t care about the people on the road,” he added.

The NGOs blame the city goverment’s body, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board  for being slack in dealing with the issues of the homeless population. “There is no summer action plan in place by the DUSIB. It shows the departments apathy towards the issue of these people,” said Aledia.

The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board meant to look after shelter homes in the city always dismiss the concerns of the homeless people beacause they consider them addicts, said the NGOs. Drug addiction is a problem with the squatters but not all of them are addicts, they added.

But NGOs said only three out of the 32 drug-deaddiction centres are functional in the city.
According to the NGOs, there are over 1.5 lakh homeless people in the city but the DUSIB’s 2014 survey could opnly manage to find over 16,000 destitues on the Delhi streets.