New Delhi: The Delhi government has proposed setting up a 500-bed drug de-addiction centre to offer assistance and psychological counselling to the drug addicts among homeless.
Also, amid questions being raised over "unhygienic" conditions in night shelters, the officials from the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) blamed the people indulging in substance abuse responsible to a large extent for creating such conditions.
"Quite a large number of these homeless people induge in substance abuse. They consume liquor and then litter and vomit on the blankets given to them leading to unhygienic conditions. They also get into squabbles with other inmates when they are high creating security issues.
"So we have put forth a proposal of setting up a 500-bed drug de-addiction centre to Lt Governor to provide medical assistance and psychological counselling to addicts as part of our winter action plan," said DUSIB Director (Assets and Management/Night Shelter) Kamal Malhotra.
The menace of drug addicts is a major cause of concern for us, particularly in night shelters located in Central Delhi and Yamuna Pushta near ISBT Kashmere Gate which have a high concentration of homeless, Malhotra said.
Secretary of Social Welfare Department, Ashwini Kumar also stressed on the need to set up such de-addictions centres.
"Under the influence of liquor or drugs, these people sometimes create very unseemly kind of an atmpsphere. This is a recurrent problem faced by people who manage these night shelters and is an issue which needs to be addressed, Kumar said.
Currently, Delhi government has a 30-bed de-addiction facility for homeless persons at a shelter in Kotla Mubarakpur.
There are 219 night shelters being run in permanent structures, porta cabins, temporary tents, and community halls with a capacity of over 15,000 people.
31 officers of DUSIB go to the field (nearest night shelters to their home) every night to inspect these shelters.
Delhi Lt governor Najeeb Jung appealed to the citizens of Delhi to help the poor by providing them with warm clothing and bedding material, but to be donated only at the night shelters.
"Life does not always give us the opportunity to display yeoman kindness. This is the time," Jung said.
Lauding the citizens of Delhi for their humanitarian and philanthropist spirit, Jung said, "Delhi is a city, which has opened its heart to people in emergencies over centuries. Whenever there has been a crisis, people of Delhi have risen to the occasion and helped their brethren. A very good demonstration of this spirit has been how our brothers and sisters have responded in the last two days to the needs of the poor, especially in the wake of prevailing winter."
Jung also urged the citizens to motivate homeless to shift to the nearest night shelter or inform the control room of DUSIB.