New Delhi, 6 January
Even after the announcement of 45 porta cabins in two days by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for the homeless, not much has been done so far as the initiatives still seem inadequate.
According to reports, there are still at least 4,000 people in the city without homes.
To know the condition of people living in shelter homes, Delhi minister for social welfare, Rakhi Birla, conducted an inspection at several night shelters. During her visit, she interacted with the residents and inspected the deteriorating condition of the shelters.
Many NGOs were skeptical about the two-day deadline as Parminder Kumar of NGO ‘Humana People to People India said, “We have heard about this announcement. But there is uncertainty whether they will be ready within a week because not only building porta cabins is the issue but also to get land at strategic places is also a concern.”
Parmjit Kaur, who is the director of the Ashray Adhikar Abhiyaan, which has been working with the homeless in Delhi said that it is impossible to build porta cabins in 48 hours.
She added that this concern about homeless people always come in winters when they shiver from the bone chilling cold. In Delhi, porta cabins are not the answer to the problems faced by the homeless. We need a permanent solution and not temporary one.”
In Mansarovar Park, where recently demolition took place, around 1,000 people were made homeless. In the bitter cold, their temporary shelters have been put up with thin plastic sheets which can hardly give any protection from cold.
A homeless in Karol Bagh area alleged that not much has changed since the AAP government took over. They made so many promises and it is the time to fulfil those promises.
Another homeless, Raj said, “Government has to think seriously about our condition because at night when mercury starts dipping it becomes a challenge for us to survive in the freezing cold without shelters.”