To ensure city's homeless are given best possible facilities at its shelters and their concerns and demands are looked into with sensitivity, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) has decided to set up a body of intermediaries.
With experts from institutes like Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), IGNOU, Delhi School of Social Work (DSSW) and Jamia Millia Islamia, the body will work as an intermediary between DUSIB and the non-government organisations that maintain and run the shelters for homeless on government's behalf in the Capital. "It will be like a monitoring body. These people (experts from TISS and DSSW) understand the issues of homeless far better and can deal with their needs with more responsibility and sensitivity. They will work as a support system to the homeless and will constantly apprise us on how to improve facilities for the homeless," a senior DUSIB official said.
DUSIB currently runs 150 shelters for homeless, which include 84 temporary shelters and 66 permanent shelters. DUSIB officials said about 5,000 homeless come to these shelters to sleep at night. Most of these shelters are used especially in winters when the temperature in Capital drops to three to four degrees Celsius. DUSIB officials said they are now changing the design of the shelters to make them comfortable in all weathers. Most shelters were being lately built with tin, which heats up quickly during the summers.
"We have now taken help of HUDCO to suggest us an all-weather design. Since the homeless have the tendency to cook their meals inside or close to the shelter, we have to ensure that the material used is fire-resistant. We are now replicating the design suggested by HUDCO," an official said.