New Delhi, Of the 221 state government-run shelter homes, several have been found to have insufficient toilet facilities. While some didn’t even have a lavatory, a number of them were not functioning or clogged, rendering them useless.
The matter of overwhelming concern arises from the fact that Delhi is currently witnessing a record breaking cold wave spell. The national capital has recorded 11 cold days – the highest in the last 22 years since 1997.
The two temporary toilets in the premises of the shelter home in Panchsheel Garden, Shahdara, bearing code number 146, were found broken, forcing the inmates to relieve themselves out in the open, raising serious questions on hygiene around the centre.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) toilet (1 km away near the Panchsheel Garden shelter home) closes at 8 p.m., and it remains closed on Sundays. Relieving ourselves is a huge problem for us, especially during the night,” Ajay Kumar, an inmate who is a daily wage labourer, told IANS.
Caretaker of the shelter home, Amrit Gulati, on being questioned about the toilet facilities, said that they have not been operational for the last 3 to 4 months. “I have informed this to Atul Jain, my superior, several times via text on Whatsapp and the NGO, Sadik Masih too, but have received nothing but assurances.”
The shelter house number 70 at Seemapuri had no toilet facility while the nearby MCD facility was closed at night. IANS learnt that inmates had no other option but to defecate in a nearby drain.
Shelter house number 69, Trilokpuri, had a single toilet but was unusable. “I have asked the concerned authority about the drainage issue but its been over a month,” said caretaker Durga Prasad.
Kabool Nagar shelter house number 003, Shahdara, was also found in dire hygienic condition. Although, the caretaker at duty said the place was cleaned twice, the foul smell did not bear him out.
(Ravi Dutta Mishra can be contacted at [email protected] and Abhijeet Kumar Sharma can be contacted at [email protected] )