Blankets being distributed to the homeless people on the streets of Delhi.
December 28 was Delhi's coldest night. The mercury fell to as low as 2.6 degrees Celsius. And in this bone chilling cold, there were many who slept on the streets on pieces of cardboard and covered themselves with plastic sheets. These homeless people struggled to keep themselves alive.
NDTV, along with the Uday Foundation, has been conducting the 'blanket drive' for the last three years now to help these people keep warm. Thanks to our viewers that we were able to do our bit.
Muskaan, a student of class 4 had been sleeping along the Okhla railway tracks. This winter, she has finally been able to smile. All thanks to the night shelters Uday Foundation has built for the homeless, providing a much needed respite from the capital's harsh winters.
Muskaan's mother told NDTV that she wasn't able to send her children to school because they didn't get proper sleep out in the open. This winter, however, things will change for Muskaan and her family.
Lakshmi, a mother of a three-month-old, queued up during the blanket distribution so she could get one to keep her toddler warm. Like her, many others queued up with hopes in their eyes while the police and local authorities helped to maintain order.
So far, Uday Foundation has distributed 6,000 blankets in the city. The Delhi Police too has taken up the task of moving the homeless into night shelters.
North Delhi, especially, has a large number of homeless people. Delhi has a total of 246 night shelters with 47 in the area. A Delhi Police team patrols the streets of North Delhi every night to make sure the homeless sleep in the shelters and not on roadsides. The Station House Officers or SHOs keep a log of each night shelter in their respective areas and shift homeless people to the shelters where there is space available.
"We do not want any homeless people on the streets," Deputy Commissioner of Police for North Delhi, Madhur Verma, tells NDTV. He says his team will continue with their efforts throughout the winter season.