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Capital's homeless living in deplorable conditions

Capitals homeless living in deplorable conditions

New Delhi: As the national Capital hunkered down for the 21-day countrywide lockdown in light of the Coronavirus crisis, the city's homeless are left out on the streets, without awareness or means to practice social distancing. A large number of homeless people outside AIIMS still have no shelter to go to and no agency willing to provide them with the essentials to stop the spread of the virus and keep them in a hygienic environment.

According to a report, hundreds of people who came from various parts of the country for treatment at AIIMS were left unattended since the lockdown was announced and are now forced to stay in the open. Since Sunday last, when 'Janata Curfew', was observed and a lockdown was announced thereafter, no agency has come forward to address their woes. The government agencies have been providing them foods but they wanted a shelter not only to ensure social distancing but to maintain proper hygiene.

People working at the locality claim that despite running of dozens of shelter homes in a full-fledged manner by the government, a crowd has gathered after the shutdown.

"Generally, people take shelter at shelter homes but now since shelter homes are already full of people, it will be difficult to accommodate these additional individuals. The government agencies must shift them at nearby schools, stadium or any makeshift place by ensuring required distance. Besides this, there should be proper arrangement of foods and medicines," said an employee working with a government company.

"We are given food here but not in sufficient quantity. The problem is that the shelter is now overcrowded and facilities are limited. People must be accommodated in larger areas to avoid transmission of disease, said Ramadhir Mahto, who has taken shelter in a makeshift tent at Kashmiri Gate.

Meanwhile, a self-help group has written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal urging to ensure access to nutritious food in all its schools and anganbadi centres to the needy. "Providing meal in government offices will also promote social distancing as night shelters have over crowded and the risk of contamination cannot be ruled out there," said a senior functionary who did not wish to

be named.

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