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Delhi govt launches free meal distribution scheme at 10 night shelters

Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) on Monday launched a free meal scheme for the poor living in night shelters. The initiative for 10 identified shelters was announced and launched by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain at Geeta Ghat night shelter.

DUSIB has started to distribute breakfast, lunch and dinner to help the “poor needy homeless workers”. The shelters identified includes those at Geeta Ghat, Yamuna Pusta, Dandi Park, Jama Masjid, Sarai Kaley Khan, Nizamuddin Nila Gumbad, Sarai Phus, Jhandewalan Shelter 1, Kotla Mubarakpur and Fatehpuri near old Delhi railway station.

On Monday evening, Dy CM Manish Sisodia and Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain visited the Geeta Ghat and Dandi Park shelters and distributed dinner to the inmates.

The decision has been taken in view of “increased hardship faced by Delhi’s homeless, post-demonetisation”. “The government has decided to help people on the verge of starvation due to demonetisation. Today, we have started langars at 10 identified shelters,” Sisodia said.

A senior government official said, “For the first three days, the shelter management agencies will provide the three meals on behalf of DUSIB. Once the process is set in motion, DUSIB will procure ration — rice, lentils, spices — from Kendriya Bhandar or Mother Dairy and give it to the NGOs to cook and distribute. This will happen under DUSIB’s supervision.”

Delhi government officials said NGOs like Prayas, Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses and Aashray Adhikar Abhiyaan, that run night shelters at various locations in the capital, have agreed to provide meals to the homeless.

According to the government officials, the modalities between the NGOs and DUSIB will be formalised over the next two or three days. There are 262 night shelters in Delhi with an estimated capacity to house 21,000 people.
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