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I Stay next to The President!
What stops The Supreme Court from Allocating The India Gate lawns and other Government Clubs to house The Destitute in Delhi?

As the immigration situation in New Delhi gets worse (with an estimated 665 people migrating everyday to Delhi to chase their dreams), government plans have often gone haywire. As per the 2001 census, Delhi’s population was 13.78 million and expected to increase by 40% by 2021. In 2010, the figure has already increased by 61% to 22.16 million (UN statistics). With a poverty rate around 10%, as per various estimates, there are close to 2 million poor people in Delhi, a majority of whom are homeless.

Arguably, there are just 25 permanent night shelters; these are indubitably grossly inadequate. The government has allocated Rs.7 million for providing beddings in 86 temporary night shelters and another Rs.20 million for upgradation of permanent night shelters. Even that can be no match to the sheer numbers staring the government.

The Supreme Court has every year chided the government and given it a deadline for setting up immediate temporary shelters. As happens every year, the Delhi government immediately took up parks and community centres in various localities around Delhi and splendiferously set up tents for the homeless. While the intent was generous, the government conveniently chose to ignore the plight of the typical Delhi family whose children could not use the park, and who had to suffer the social and criminal behaviour that some of the homeless exhibited.

If you believe we’re heartless in saying this, think about it, why doesn’t the government set up homeless shelters in the expansive India Gate and Presidential lawns? What stops the Supreme Court from encouraging positive use of those lawns? Did you cite national security? Or did you mention cleanliness?

By:- Akram Hoque

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