Monday, 7 January 2013

Cold Winter ---colder for the poor.

In Northern parts of India, Winter is very severe. In rural areas, people have to take shelter in temples, or "chuopals" and must have warm clothing to survive. Many light bonfires to keep themselves warm and alive. If anyone is caught in cold nights without warm clothes, they can be presumed dead. That is nature's way of limiting population of India. Government is unaware of the numerous poor of rural India who perish in the cold climate. Urban India knows the conditions of the poor and that we must care for them. In Delhi, day time temperature is 1.9 degrees Celsius with strong winds. Government had allocated funds for making night shelters, but they were misappropriated and many could not be made. Supreme court had said in 2009 that there must be at least one shelter for every lakh urban citizen. But this is not adhered to. There is growing dislike for migrants, as it is assumed that they are the cause of crimes.Residents pressurise their local area councillors to make sure that no shelters are made near their localities. Sympathetic feeling for the plight of the poor is totally absent.Selfishness prevails.
Few shelters were made but they had no basic facilities. If shelters are made in the outskirts of the city, how will the poor reach there? The thousands of destitute children, rag pickers, beggars who are blind or handicapped(on crutches) seek a place to spend the night in this urban jungle. And they cannot find one.
At a shelter in New Delhi, a troupe of monkeys came to share a night shelter. Even the animal world wants to share a little warmth this Winter with us, it is so so cold. Do we care for the people or animals? Don't we have a small place in our hearts for the urban poor? Warmth in our heart is what is going to keep alive the very poor people of urban India.

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