In response to the chilling temperatures gripping the national capital, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) has taken a proactive step by establishing 190 tents across the city to provide shelter for the homeless during the night.
This initiative, aimed at offering warmth and protection, is particularly crucial given Delhi’s recent recording of its coldest day of the month, with the minimum temperature plummeting to 5.3 degrees Celsius, as reported by the India Meteorological Department.
These 190 tents, strategically positioned, have the capacity to house approximately 8,000 people. An additional 60 tents are on standby, ready to be deployed based on the evolving needs. Bipin Rai, Member Expert at DUSIB, emphasized that the organization typically maintains 350 tents in readiness, with 8,000 individuals finding refuge in these shelters during the night, and around 4,000 during the day.
Rai provided insights into the daily operations, stating that the DUSIB rescues an average of 200 to 300 people daily from various locations. In an effort to enhance their support, the organization has transitioned from providing only tea and snacks to serving three meals a day to the rescued individuals.
The DUSIB’s winter action plan, initiated in December 2023, involves the systematic relocation of homeless individuals to temporary tent shelters. A total of 15 rescue teams operate on the ground, identifying clusters of homeless people and facilitating their transfer to temporary shelters. The teams are equipped with necessary resources, including vehicles, drivers, and attendants.
Ensuring the well-being of those seeking refuge, teams of doctors visit these shelters twice a week. Currently, Delhi boasts 195 functional DUSIB shelter homes, with an overall capacity of 7,092 people.
To streamline the process and address concerns effectively, a centralized control room at Punarwas Bhawan, I.P. Estate, monitors and supports the rescue teams. The control room operates round the clock, receiving complaints and information through various channels, including a dedicated helpline, mobile app, and other sources.
In addition, a user-friendly mobile app named ‘Rain Basera’ is available on Google Play Store, enabling citizens to report sightings of homeless individuals and aiding in their swift rescue. The shelters, equipped with essential facilities such as drinking water, toilets, lockers, complaint boxes, first aid, and televisions, stand as a testament to the DUSIB’s commitment to providing comprehensive assistance to those in need during the harsh winter months.
(With PTI inputs)