Tin houses leave city homeless high and dry
A generous gesture though, government shelters for the homeless to save them from the torrid heat hardly serve any purpose.delhi Updated: May 09, 2012 01:38 IST
A generous gesture though, government shelters for the homeless to save them from the torrid heat hardly serve any purpose.
In fact, in the absence of fans, coolers and any other amenities, these tin boxes turn into hot torture chambers when the sun shines at its peak. So much for government planning, instead of using a suitable material, tin — a decent conductor of heat — has been used to construct such shelters with a fire-proof fabric as the roofing.
Thousands of occupants of these shelters, who live in them in shifts — afternoon and night — are having a tough time with the mercury in Delhi crossing the 40 degrees Celsius mark.
There are 65 temporary shelters made of tin and seven makeshift tents. The NGOs that have been running these shelters are demanding that fans should be provided there. But there complaints have met deaf ears so far."It is better to live under the shade of a tree than to live in these shelters. The tin sheets become very hot in the afternoon. A number of people have fallen ill. Dehydration is common. Some of us sleep outside the shelters and use them to keep our belongings only," said Nirmal, a homeless.
"Hundreds of people come and live in these shelters every day but basic facilities such as fans have still not been provided by the government. A number of people have fallen ill. Since this shelter is near the Yamuna there is a huge problem of mosquitoes," said Sameer Pathak, caretaker of the Yamuna Pushta homeless shelter run by Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS), an NGO.
"We will be procuring fans soon. April was very cool and it is only now that it has become hot," said a senior government official.
"Even animals are provided fans and coolers in the Delhi zoo in the summer but the lot of those living in these shelters is worse," said Indu Prakash Singh, technical advisor, IGSSS.