Winter season has set in, and while we have the luxury of snuggling into that cozy quilt or blanket, there are many homeless people in the city, who struggle to survive in this harsh weather. Though, there are shelters for the homeless in the Capital, they are not enough, considering the high
Children stand in a queue for free tea and biscuits distributed in front of the Dhan Yog Ashram, a religious hermitage, in Delhi. India still has the world’s largest number of poor people in a single country, with an estimated 350-400 million of the country's 1.2 billion inhabitants living below the poverty line.
number of homeless in the city.
“Thousands of homeless spend their winters out on streets. They don’t have woollen clothes or anything else to keep them warm. On a personal level, people should give good quality warm clothes and blankets to the needy. What people do is that they buy blankets for Rs. 100 and donate them, but those blankets are of poor quality,” says Amit Sinha of the NGO Jamghat, that works for the cause of street kids and the homeless.
Sinha will soon organise a night walk this month to highlight the plight of the homeless. “We will take people to areas where there are homeless people sleeping and they’ll get to see how they struggle to survive in winter,” he says.
“We did a project last year called ‘Winter Blankets for the Homeless’, where we distributed 1000 blankets to the needy, who slept under flyovers and footpath. Every individual can do their bit, even if they can’t make a big donation. People can
distribute 10 good quality blankets or warm clothes to the needy. Every little bit counts,” says Aby Philip, director of Family India Foundation.
Some Delhiites have been doing their bit, like Riya Banerjee, a 19-year-old student, who along with her friends, buys blankets and warm clothes in bulk from wholesale markets and distributes them among the homeless every year. “I have been doing this since I was an 8-year-old. I accompanied my parents who gave out our old woollens and even new blankets to those living on the streets. Now, I do it with my friends,” says Banerjee.
What you can do
Buy some good quality blankets and warm clothes and distribute them among the needy.
You can even donate your old but wearable warm clothes to various NGOs
If possible, give packed food to the homeless. An empty stomach makes it even more difficult to survive the harsh weather.