Water shortage still haunts Vasant Vihar old-age home

It is close to 5 pm on a hot Wednesday afternoon and Aagya Kaur is hopeful of finding enough water to wash a salwar-kameez.

“I hope to find some water in one of the drums. I really need to wash my clothes,” 87-year-old Kaur said while readying the bundle of clothes spread on her bed.

Like Kaur, the 250 residents of Earth Saviours Foundation - an internationally recognised NGO - are facing an acute water shortage in the city’s sweltering heat. There have also been about 35 deaths here in the last few months, reportedly due to dehydration.

“This happened despite writing a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and other MLAs apprising them of our woes. Our requests fell on deaf ears until recently,” Ravi Kalra, founder of the NGO said, sitting inside a portacabin which was burning hot due to the scorching heat.

Kalra added that their basic demand from the government was a borewell pump. “That would help meet our water demands,” he said.

And now, with their plight finally reaching the authorities, the residents of this rescue centre-cum-old-age home located at Rangpuri Pahari in South Delhi, are hopeful that their water demands would be met.

“Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members visited us and have promised to get a borewell pump installed in the next two days. They also promised us to get a thermocol sheet covering done on the roof to reduce the heat,” Kalra said, sounding hopeful.

The other promises made included better road facilities and increased load capacity of the electricity transformer.

He added that until now it was a full-sized tanker that was helping them survive the water crisis.

Pronob Roy, who has been staying at the old-age home for a year, said that while food was adequate, it was water that upset the residents’ daily routine.

“Sanitation and hygiene conditions could also be bettered,” the 66-year-old, hailing from Bengaluru, said. He added that periodicals and games, too, were welcome.

Agreed Flying Officer Shiv Shankar (retired), who said that apart from better water and toilet facilities, better luggage keeping facilities and hygienic kitchen facilities would also be welcomed.

“This is so that theft of my luggage does not take place,” he said. 
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