Millennium Post

No Christmas joy for homeless who sleep on Delhi's streets

New Delhi: As the mercury steadily keeps dropping before Christmas in Delhi, vendors selling festive products who often sleep near churces, are having a tough time.
Yashwant has been sleeping with his family on the street near Sacred Heart Cathedral for over three days.
When asked how they are surviving the cold nights, the family says it is very tough to sleep at night as they have no quilts or blankets.
"I cant go home. I have brought Christmas product for over Rs 50,000 in the last three days and sales are low. I stay here with my family in the night in, hoping people will buy my stuff," says Yashwant.
A few steps away, 62-year-old Vidya has been sleeping in the cold since December 21.
"Sometimes, a few kind people give us warm clothes which I and my grandson wear," says Vidya, adding that she was able to sell a few products in the last few days.
Street vendors like Vidya sell Santa Claus caps and beards, lights and other decorative items.
Vendors near the Sacred Heart Cathedral claim cops don't allow them to sell items in front of the church.
"We have not been allowed to sell our things near the church and on Christmas Eve. If we are not able to sell more, it will be a great loss," says Ajay.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Braj Kishore Singh claims that these people are not vendors.
"They are all unauthorised people who don't have license from NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) and create problems for the people who visit the church," said Singh.
NGO Centre For Holistic Development) which works for the safety of homeless people, stated that most vendors are homeless and during Christmas, and earn some money by selling these products and feed their families.
"It is cold and their life becomes tough during Christmas. This year, more than 2,000 dead bodies have been found in Delhi, most of whom are homeless," said Sunil Aledia of the NGO.
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