In a bid to wake up the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) out of their slumber, CityMakers and Civil Society Organisations under the banner of Shahri Adhikar Manch – Begharon Ke Saath (SAM-BKS) protested against DUSIB’s insolent nature and their unwillingness to provide basic facilities like fans, drinking water, mosquito coils and proper sanitation in the shelters. With desperation clear on their faces, about 100 CityMakers took to streets in the sultry heat of Delhi on June 8, 2012 and demanded to know till when such acts of brutality will continue against the poorest of the poor?

The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi had directed the government to provide basic facilities urgently in all the shelters in its order dated May 31, 2012. However, DUSIB has paid no heed.

CityMakers, who belonged to different areas in Delhi like – Lodi Road, Jama Masjid, Yamuna Pusta, Mori Gate, Karol Bagh, & near Akshardham temple, questioned the authorities that with summer at its peak, when will DUSIB understand their plight? The anger in CityMakers was evident as one said that he has fallen ill because of mosquito bites. And to make matters worse, he doesn’t even have water to drink.

Commenting on the situation, indu prakash singh of Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS) said, “This is truly outrageous, violating the human rights of CityMakers (Homeless Residents). The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, has issued orders dated 31st May, 2012 mentioning SAM – BKS affidavit filed on 15th May, 2012, adducing its own orders dated, 25th May, 2011 to immediately provide for fans, safe drinking water, mosquito coils etc.”

Not only has DUSIB failed to provide basic facilities in the shelters, the board has taken no action to modify the tin shelters and make them suitable for all weathers. The situation is such that on one hand the tents have collapsed and on the other tin shelters continue to be furnace. Under such circumstances

CityMakers are left with no choice but to sleep on streets.

Later, members of the protest met DUSIB officials and handed a memorandum of their demands. Amit Kumar Sharma, Nodal Officer, Night Shelter DUSIB ensured that by June 15, 2012 all the demands of the CityMakers would be met. Mr. Kumar also told the CityMakers that by evening (i.e. by June 8 evening) he would circulate names and phone numbers of the all civil engineers who will be responsible for providing electricity connections and fans in the shelters. And that he would write to Delhi Jal Board to provide water on regular basis. On such assurances CityMakers called off their protest but informed the officials that if DUSIB was only paying lip-service, then they will not hesitate in organizing more protests.

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