As the national capital shivers in its coldest winter in a century, its homeless crowd around fires on pavements to pass the freezing nights
Delhi, the capital of India, is also its second most populous city. It draws hordes of migrants, who come in search of better lives. However, with the city failing to meet the needs of all migrants, many do not get even that most basic necessity: shelter. Photo: Vikas Choudhary
And it is during Delhi's notoriously cold winters that the need for shelter is particularly felt. The homeless of Delhi usually live on the capital's pavements, with no protection from the elements. Here, they bathe, cook, go to work and eat. Photo: Vikas Choudhary
At the end of the day, when everything is done, it is time to hit the sack. But for the homeless of Delhi, who number at least a lakh (by 2011 Census), that is easier said than done. Nobody would want to snooze on a pavement, under foggy and rainy skies, with temperatures hitting below zero. Photo: Vikas Choudhary
The number of severe cold days in the national capital in December 2019, made it the coldest December in a century after 1997. The Delhi government does provide night-time shelters for the homeless during winter. These are called 'Rain Baseras', a Hindi word meaning night homes. Photo: Vikas Choudhary
However, the night shelters provided by the government are usually not good. They do not have enough blankets, quilts or other things to keep out the cold. Many homeless persons thus have no choice but to sleep out in the bitter cold. Photo: Vikas Choudhary
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.