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Homeless shelters: There is no separate arrangement for women, half the population forced to sleep on the streets amid cold winds

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  • There Is No Separate Arrangement For Women, Half The Population Forced To Sleep On The Roads Amidst Cold Winds

New Delhi10 minutes ago

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Such a chilling cold, in which even thick, warm clothes are proving to be ineffective. The bitter cold is wreaking havoc on those who do not have a roof to hide their heads. Governments have built night shelters for the homeless, but in most states there is no separate arrangement for women. Night shelters are the night shelters only for men, while women have to spend the night under the open sky on the road or bus stand. What are the arrangements for women in night shelters? Read, the investigation report of Bhaskar Woman’s reporter Deepti Mishra and Parul Ranjha …

Governments in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have set up night shelters at various places to protect the homeless from the cold wave and severe cold. All facilities including drinking water have also been made in these night shelters. Guidelines related to prevention of Kovid epidemic are also being followed, but in some night shelters, women are not allowed to stay, and in some places the arrangements are insufficient. In some cities, arrangements have been made for women to stay, but they do not feel comfortable. In such a situation, most of the women spend the night under the open sky on the footpath, bus stand and other places, but do not come to the night shelter.

Homes of the homeless flooded in Delhi
In the country’s capital Delhi, most of the night shelters including Ramlila Ground, Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar Bus Stand have become full. When the team of Bhaskar Woman reached the night shelter built by the Delhi government in Mayur Vihar, there were only two or four people there. After talking to the care taker of the night shelter, it was found that this place is only for men. Women are not allowed to spend the night in it. Night shelters have been built near Akshardham for women, but it is not easy for homeless women to travel several kilometers every day to reach there.

There were only two or four people in the night shelter of Mayur Vihar.

There were only two or four people in the night shelter of Mayur Vihar.

Mother and child chilling on the sidewalk
A few steps away from this night shelter, a woman with her children was seen chilling on the sidewalk. On being asked, the woman said that we have come here from far away. There is no shelter around us. The arrangements made by the government for us are far away. From here it is very difficult to go there at night and then come back in the morning. At the same time, the people around say that due to lack of information about the night shelter, people rarely come. Many are not even aware of this here.

The night shelter built in Mayur Vihar is only for men.  Women are not allowed to spend the night in it.

The night shelter built in Mayur Vihar is only for men. Women are not allowed to spend the night in it.

UP: There is no provision for women’s safety, nor for cleanliness
There was silence on the streets of Greater Noida. Outside the night shelter in Sector P-3 Community Centre, some destitute, laborers and passers-by were warming themselves with the flames of bonfire. A watchman was sitting in the room. On being asked, he told that not many people come yet. Only two or four passengers come. There was a separate room for women, but there was no woman. There was no security, no cleanliness.

The condition of the women’s toilet was such that it was difficult to stay there even for a minute. There was neither lighting nor water. The dilapidated walls of the filthy toilet were no less than a haunted bungalow. The guard told that a few days ago only one woman had come here to stay, since then no woman has stayed till now. It can be guessed from the chaos in the night shelter that perhaps due to the poor and unsafe environment, it will be less than a challenge for any woman to spend the night here.

Dirt-filled toilets in the night shelter in Greater Noida Sector P-3 Community Center.

Dirt-filled toilets in the night shelter in Greater Noida Sector P-3 Community Center.

Noida: Women’s beds are empty, only a few come
In Noida, night shelters have been set up in the processions of Noida Stadium, Sector-135, Mamura, Kondli and Sector-62 to protect the homeless from the cold. When the team of Bhaskar Woman reached the night shelter located at the stadium, about 7 to 8 people were laying mattress on the ground. When asked, the caretaker said that there is no system for women here, while Noida Authority’s general manager P.K. Kaushik says that there is a system for women, but women do not come. Arrangements are also being made for women in a hall in the stadium itself. Apart from this, bonfires are being lit at 52 places in the city to protect from winter.

Noida Authority CEO Ritu Maheshwari says that arrangements have been made for women in the night shelters built in the community center, but only a few women come. In such a situation, their beds remain empty. As the number increases, women’s beds are given to men.

Night shelter built for the homeless at Noida Stadium.

Night shelter built for the homeless at Noida Stadium.

MP: There are arrangements, but women are not comfortable staying
There are 15 night shelters in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh. Except for the night shelter built near Nadra bus stand, there is no separate arrangement for women in the remaining 14. In Jabalpur and Gwalior there are about 10 night shelters for men, but for women there is only one shelter in both the cities. At the same time, there are about 13 night shelters in Indore, all of them have arrangements for women, but women do not come here to sleep at night.

Rajasthan: There are many hideouts for men, only two for women
There are more than one and a half dozen night shelters in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, but here too only two have arrangements for women. The situation is more or less the same in many other cities as well.

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