One lakh homeless people spend winter on Delhi streets

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New Delhi: For those of us, who take the warmth of our homes and their heating devices for granted, here’s a chilling statistic — Delhi has over 100,000 homeless people, most of whom are left to fend for themselves in the open during the cruel winter season.

“Delhi winter is cruel, its  chill reaches the bones,” said a 20-something Ali, while making his bed on the pavement outside Nizamuddin Dargah in south Delhi.

The city of around 17 million inhabitants has 25 night shelters run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi  (MCD), apart from nearly 50 temporary structures set up by various NGOs.

More alarming is the fact  that there is just one night shelter for women — Anugriha — near Bangla Sahib Gurudwara in central Delhi.

Many migrant laborers say they cannot spend the night at the shelters as they have faced instances of their belongings being stolen and the women harassed.

Experts say lack of financial aid from the government and increasing population are main obstacles in providing shelter to the homeless.

 

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