As temperature in Delhi heads north, the Centre for Holistic Development (CHD), has demanded an action plan that takes care of homeless people during summer.
In the past 45 days, 377 homeless have died, possibly due to heat wave, the NGO said. According to CHD, last year too, over 550 people died in April and May. The NGO attributed the deaths to the lack of an action plan by the government.
“The Delhi government prepares action plan for winter but it has no plan for the homeless during summer. They live in open and there is no facility of coolers in some shelters. Police never give details of medical reports so that we can confirm the fact that death is related to heat,” said Sunil Kumar Aledia of CHD.
Every year, around 3,000 unidentified dead bodies are recovered by the police and the number peaks during extreme weather. According to the police, they conduct the autopsy in every case, but most of them turn out to be natural deaths.
“Our shelters are available for the homeless though the occupancy remains less during summer. We provide coolers and fans at most of the shelters and about 40% of the total homeless are permanent members,” said an official of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).
Though DUSIB could not confirm any heat-related deaths, the board wants the police to look into the reason for hundreds of homeless dying in summer. “We have 201 coolers in shelters while we are buying 91 more in the coming days. We are also providing drinking water in the shelters,” said VK Jain, CEO, DUSIB.