They are left with nothing at all. Not even a roof under which they can keep the dead bodies of their loved ones and mourn.
"Where do we keep the bodies? Who will pay for the transportation? I have a hand-to-mouth existence," said Imtiaz, an embroidery artisan who lost four brothers in the building collapse at Lalita Park in east Delhi on Monday night. Even identifying their the bodies was an uphill task at the mortuary at Lok Nayak Hospital (LNH).
"We came here in the morning but since there was no electricity in the mortuary we could not identify my sister. We went to other hospitals only to return here and find the photograph of her disfigured face pasted on the walls outside the mortuary," said Aruna Haldar, whose 16-year-old niece Rakhi was also died in the mishap.
Even the police were recording the statement of the relatives of the dead people at the mortuary itself, fearing they would not be able to locate them as they were now homeless.
Most of them are poor migrant labourers and do not have the money to commute between the four hospitals where the injured and dead were taken to.
"All the cash was spent on commuting between one hospital and another. I have called my cousin brother for help. The hospital authorities are of no help. We do not know when the compensation will arrive," said Mohammad Miraz, a relative of one of the dead labourers.
Imtiaz sat with neighbours and locals outside the mortuary at LNH, collecting donations to send the bodies to their native place at Katihar in Bihar.
The postmortem examination, a must in unnatural deaths, has also been waived off.