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From: "pushkar raj" <[email protected]>
Subject: An Open Letter to Chief Minister of Delhi on Shelter-less in the Capital

An Open Letter to Chief Minister of Delhi on Shelter-less in the Capital

Dear Mrs. Dikshit

Dehlites are happy that you are back in power. You won elections despite incumbency. You seemed and emerged as a sober and suave leader who was sensitive to the woes of common man as compared to your competitors. Congratulations for a deserved victory.

You promised something for everyone. I have no reasons to doubt your seriousness in this regard.

I do not know what you promised for the Delhiís shelter-less and homeless. In the biting cruel cold of January as they languish on pavements I recollect your persona on television last year on one of the satellite channels. You were face to face with one of your citizens. Live, in tatters, shivering under the foggy sky on pavement road leading to new Delhi railway station (stoneís throw from your Gole Market constituency) an old man wept inconsolably as the TV correspondent asked him about the plans and prospect for the dark cold night ahead. The weeping old man was cold, shelter-less, abandoned and to our shame hopeless. As tears rolled down his cheeks, we all squirmed guiltily to the core. You included.

And you promised.

You promised that some arrangements would immediately be made for people like him to survive. And they would not be let to die. But still in the last winter 3040 died in the capital. Sad.

Sad that 3040 people in the capital would have wept like the man on camera and later fell dead.

But more sad is the fact that a budget of 2.60 crores allocated for the homeless for the new night shelters (raian baseras) has remained sinfully unused for the purpose. Out of proposed nine night shelters in each zone of the city not even a single came up during the preceding year. Money remains intact in coffers. People exposed in open!

Furthermore out of 37 night shelters that your party controlled corporation runs, 26 are situated in old Delhi only. It seems that there are no poor and homeless in rest of Delhi. East Delhi, the dwelling of capitalís underbelly and approximately one third of population has only one night shelter!

I agree that you have many more things to be concerned of. You would agree with me that these homeless, meager daily wage earners, street children, beggars, people living with leprosy, Aids, mental illness cannot make use of right of information act and haul the air conditioned accustomed officials in a court of law. I agree they do not play an important role in deciding the winner in election (they do not figure in voting list).

But let me submit:
When you feel a little cold as you come out to inaugurate a scheme in open for welfare of downtrodden, think of these shivering children, women and old men who are cold and weeping. I submit that you ensure that what is promised and proposed for our not so fortunate brethren are honorably and honestly executed. I further submit that for just two months of winter please throw open gates of a few out of 1800 primary and 650 secondary schools that the capital city has. What would that amount to? Certainly much much less when compared with an old man weeping in middle of night or thousands dead like an uncared sparrow without a trace.

Yours sincerely
PUSHKAR RAJ
General Secretary
PUCL- DELHI