Waiting for government help, 350 people live in crammed temporary sheds in Gurgaon
In a lesser known quarter of Gurgaon, where garbage from the city piles up, 350 abandoned people spend their days crammed in temporary sheds on a private plot in the hope that the government would give them a better tomorrow.gurgaon Updated: Oct 07, 2016 01:02 IST
In a lesser known quarter of Gurgaon, where garbage from the city piles up, 350 abandoned people spend their days crammed in temporary sheds on a private plot in the hope that the government would give them a better tomorrow.
The stench from the defunct Bandhwari waste treatment plant fills the air around the shelter home, Gurukul, in Bandhwari village just off the Gurgaon-Faridabad road.
Gurukul, run by an NGO, Earth Saviours Foundation, houses abandoned people, including senior citizens, mentally-challenged people, and rape victims.
They are living in abysmal conditions in Gurgaon after being forced to shift from Delhi. The home was initially set up in Vasant Kunj in 2008 and later shifted to Rangapur Pahadi in south Delhi after a fire.
“When the Rangapur Pahadi location was flooded, we had no place to go. The people were shifted here (Bandhwari ) and we restarted with the construction work to provide them shelter. But as the number of residents is increasing, the small location is unable to accommodate everyone,” Ravi Kalra, the 47-year-old founder of the foundation, said.
Gurukul has five sheds -- three for men and two for women -- with 25 beds each on a one-acre plot. As families, police and even courts continue to send the abandoned to Gurukul , the volunteers are failing sto provide everyone with a bed.
“Some of the people sleep on the floor in the sheds. We do not say no to anyone seeking a home but the area is small and it is impossible to accommodate 350 people in a home for only 100-150 people,” Kalra said.
The medical facilities at Gurukul include a medical room with two beds, and three ambulances.
“The private hospitals are out of our reach and the civil hospital of Gurgaon is far. We take the patients to either AIIMS or Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi but as most of them are ailing, there have been a number of cases in which the person died before reaching the hospital,” Maheshwari, a volunteer, said.
Residents of the Gurukul said after being abandoned by their family, the shelter home provided them with all basic necessities.
“They ensure that we do not have any issues. But during the summer and winter months, it gets difficult to stay in the open space,” 87-year-old Aagya Kaur said.
Ishwar Chand Gupta, a 78-year-old civil engineer, said, “I came here nine months ago. The government should lend a helping hand in the service.”
A meeting between government officials and NGO volunteers discussed land and financial requirements four months ago. But, the government is yet to hand over a promised two-acre land in Bilawal village to Gurukul.
“After the meeting in August, the plan is under process. The resolution to hand over land was passed in the house, and the social justice and welfare department will give the space. The Haryana government has asked the urban local bodies to look into the matter,” YS Gupta, joint commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, said.
But Gurukul is still waiting for any information from the government.
“We do not know which stage the plan is at. The local bodies are not informing us. We will continue serving these people but they deserve a better life,” Kalra said.