Chilling cold adds to patients' woes outside AIIMS and Safdarjung
New Delhi: Outside the country's biggest hospital All India Insitute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Friday, a 50-year-old Raman Yadav was seen huddled in blanket in the corner of the bus stop. He came to the capital two months ago from Jharkhand for his treatment. "Initially it was manageable but now my life has become a nightmare. But, I can not even go back," said Yadav with his feeble hands trembling as he takes out a bunch of medical documents from a tattered plastic bag.
Like, Raman there are hundreds of people who are facing the same trouble after taking shelters outside the premises of the hospital or at the subway nearby as temperature plunged to 3.2 degree celsius, the lowest of the season till now.
"The subway is no way an ideal 'shelter' but it protected us from the fog and the chilly wind. On Thursday night, I took cover at the bus stop like several other people over there. The night shelters set up here are packed every night. Most people, who sleep there, are drunk or drug addicts, so I do not feel safe sleeping there. The subway gave us protection from the cold as well as cars," said an another TB patient Kavita, from Muradabad.
According to a senior DUSIB official, a large number of homeless people as well as attendants of patients, admitted to AIIMS, sleep on the pavement outside the hospital through out the year.
With the onset of winter, DUSIB sets up temporary shelters close to the hospital to provide them a place to spend the night. Around 12 shelters have been opened on vacant plots this year too, but these can not accommodate everybody.
However, subways turnout to be an option for homeless as a shelter but recently, due to the opening of 25 new shops over there it has become a little difficult for people to sleep inside the subway.
"We have made an hanger, three tents at footoverbrige, four at Sajdarjung side, two at metro gate number-II and two near AIIMS footpath which can accommodate almost 80 percent of the patients staying around the AIIMS and the Safdarjung. But installation of the shelters at the footpath is the not the permanent solution," said Bipin Rai, spokesperson, DUSIB.
He added that we seeking space from the AIIMS and Safdarjung hospital at their premises so that we can accommodate every patients facing the brunt of weather but still demand is at large.