Starting Monday, those taking refuge in the “10 most vulnerable” night shelters in the capital will receive three meals per day. Citing the “increased hardship” faced by Delhi’s homeless, following the Centre’s demonetisation announcement on November 8, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has directed the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to provide meals at night shelters in the capital.
While night shelters provide tea and rusk to their inmates, Kejriwal has asked Urban Development Minister Satyendar Jain to ensure that lunch and dinner are also provided in the capital’s night shelters, government officials said.
“Many migrant labourers stay in night shelters. Demonetisation has hit them very hard. The chief minister has asked the DUSIB to provide lunch and dinner in night shelters, in addition to breakfast, which was already being served,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.
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The DUSIB will start providing meals at 10 of the shelters on a pilot basis, government officials said.
These shelters are located at Geeta Ghat, Yamuna Pushta, Dandi Park, Jama Masjid, Sarai Kale Khan, Nizamuddin
Nila Gumbad, Sarai Phoos, Jhandewalan shelter 1, Kotla Mubarakpur and Fatehpuri near Old Delhi railways station.
The shelter management agencies or NGOs will provide the meals for the first three days while DUSIB will make the necessary payments to them.
A senior government official said, “For the first three days, the shelter management agencies will provide the three meals on behalf of the DUSIB. Once the process is set in motion, the DUSIB will procure dry ration — rice, lentils, spices — from Kendriya Bhandar or Mother Dairy and give it to the NGOs to cook and distribute. This will happen under the DUSIB’s supervision.”
Government officials said NGOs like Prayas, Society for Promotion of Youth and Masses and Aashray Adhikar Abhiyaan, that run night shelters at various locations in the capital, have agreed to provide meals to the homeless starting Monday.
According to government officials, the modalities between the NGOs and DUSIB will be formalised over the next two or three days.
There are 262 night shelters in Delhi with an estimated capacity to house 21,000 people, according to the DUSIB.