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For the homeless, govt. releases digital map of relief camps

Most of the people on the streets unaware of provisions

With a majority of people cooped up in their homes for the 21-day lockdown, the only people seen roaming the streets are migrant workers and the homeless who are still unaware of the Delhi government’s scheme providing shelter and hot food at various locations across the city.

To help guide the homeless to the camps, the Delhi government has released a customised Google Maps link which shows the locations of the facilities. But with no access to technology, the homeless remain unaware of such provisions.

Most of the people The Hindu talked to on Monday asked to be directed towards a location where they could get some assistance. The Delhi government has said that it has made arrangements to serve four lakh meals daily, distribute extra ration and provide accommodation at night shelters and schools.

Ranjan, a construction worker from Etawah in Uttar Pradesh, who along with his wife and children had spent all of Sunday trying to reach the Delhi border to find some transport to reach home, was huddled under a flyover near Lajpat Nagar on Monday.

“I tried to reach home but the police did not let us go any further. I was working at a construction site but it has been closed. I do not have a roof over my head and we do not have food,” he said, unaware that there were two schools in Andrews Ganj nearby that were providing free food.

Dharam Pal, another migrant worker who was sent back from the border, said that the police stopped him and asked him to head home but nobody informed him about the night shelters or where they were located.

Several non-migrant workers also said that they did not know that the Delhi government was providing accommodation at schools. Mohammad Mitoo a rickshaw driver living on the pavement opposite Lodhi Hotel, said: “I used to make ₹300-₹400 everyday but for the past week I have not made a penny and have been living here with my wife and three children. I have ₹1,500 in savings and some rice and dal which I hope will last me till I can work again.”

He said that he prefers to live on the street as the night shelter across the road is being used by the ‘regulars’ and it has no space for him and his family. He was unaware that there were four relief centres nearby.

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