The Delhi government has decided to set up geysers for the homeless at night shelters. To begin with, geysers have been installed at 20 such shelters where the homeless will be able to use warm water to bathe. The facility will be later extended to other shelters as well.
To encourage the homeless to maintain hygiene, the government has also provided for barbers at the shelters. “The aim is not just giving a roof to the homeless but a congenial atmosphere also. This year, we have introduced geysers so that, in the cold weather, the homeless can use warm water to bathe. We have provided for barbers with the help of an NGO besides giving residents a hygiene kit that includes a toothbrush and soap,” said an official of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which manages the night shelters in the city.
Some of the shelters, where DUSIB has installed geysers, are located on Asaf Ali road, Delhi Gate, Old Delhi, Raja Garden and Punjabi Bagh.
The DUSIB has also tied up with an NGO to train the homeless so that they can earn a living. It has also requested that religious bodies adopt night shelters.
The DUSIB has over 200 night shelters across the city. A monitoring committee has been set up to check occupancy and cleanliness. The DUSIB said that clear instructions have been given to the Shelter Management Agencies (SMAs) and the supervisory staff after it was observed that field staff had been giving incorrect reports about the condition at the shelters.
The board has 92 permanent shelters and 112 porta cabins that are operational throughout the year. For winters, DUSIB has constructed 57 temporary shelters outside religious places, under flyovers and near construction sites.
DUSIB’s night shelters has capacity of 20,000 and this winter about 10,000 used night shelters and mostly crowded night shelters were near the railway stations and bus stop.
As per the winter action plan, DUSIB has formed rescue teams to ensure homeless do not sleep on road. A round the clock control room has also been set up at DUSIB office at ITO, to receive complaints and information about homeless people and also for the request for donation from public.