To attract homeless during winter, Delhi shelters to get TVs, breakfast, geysers
The move comes after the board found that many homeless opt to sleep out in the open despite these shelters being available nearby. A DUSIB survey conducted in 2014 estimates that Delhi has over 16,000 homeless.delhi Updated: Nov 11, 2017 00:04 IST
Night shelters in Delhi will have a new attraction this winter. To ensure more homeless use the facility, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) has decided to equip every shelter with television sets apart from offering them breakfast and warm water.
The move comes after the board found that many homeless opt to sleep out in the open despite these shelters being available nearby. A DUSIB survey conducted in 2014 estimates that Delhi has over 16,000 homeless.
The stretch from ISBT Kashmere Gate to Jama Masjid and places near hospitals, railway stations, Bangla Sahib Gurdwara, Sarai Kale Khan remain densely populated with homeless people. These people mostly sleep on roadsides risking their lives.
“We will install TV sets in every permanent as well as temporary night shelter. Besides, tea along with biscuits or toasts will also be served as breakfast. The installation of geysers in 73 shelters has also started,” said Shurbir Singh, CEO, DUSIB.
DUSIB’s winter action plan 2017-18 for night shelters will be rolled out on November 15. Records with the DUSIB suggest as of now, they have been able to set up 183 night shelters across the city. Out of this, 73 are permanent buildings, 109 are porta-cabin shelters and one has been set up in a tent. Together, all of these can accommodate 15,774 people, officials said.
Explaining the reason for installing TVs, Singh said, “We observed the homeless need some kind of entertainment to keep them glued, otherwise they wander around at night which is unsafe. Many (the homeless) prefer to live along the roads because they get food, money and warm clothes from the public. So, TV sets will be fixed at all the night shelters including the porta-cabins.”
The board has also set up three recovery shelters at Sarai Kal Khan, Geeta Ghat and Kabir Basti to accommodate those from the economically weaker sections who come to the city for medical treatment. With the air quality in the city still toxic, the inmates of these recovery shelters were given masks on Friday.
A DUSIB official said that the board would also set up 70 temporary tents to further augment its capacity and then would be able to cover around 19,000 homeless people.
“A centralised control room with a dedicated helpline to rescue the homeless people will start functioning from November 15. We have also contacted the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the three municipal corporations for utilising their buildings if needed for emergency requirements,” the official said.
- Number of night shelters present :183
- Temporary night shelters to be set up: 70
- Control room helpline numbers: 8527898295/96, 011-23378789
- Blankets available with DUSIB and NGOs: 13,626 and 44,196 respectively
- Rugs available with DUSIB and NGOs : 1,579 and 16,948 respectively