New Delhi: At a time when the Supreme Court has asked the state governments to provide shelter to the homeless, a group of visually challenged students in Delhi have been forced to live out in the open, after their shelter in the Virender Nagar area near Janakpuri in west Delhi was sealed without notice by the authorities.
Till 2010, the nearly 30 visually-challenged students of the Louis Welfare Blind Association (LWBA) had a roof above their heads. However, two years back, their shelter was sealed without any prior notification. Two years on, hope seems to be ebbing for them.
Ashwin, the group's caretaker, said, "There were nearly 35 of these children then. Now only 12-13 are there, as they don’t know how to cope with the situation. All their certificates are also inside the shelter."
Despite a High Court order allowing the children to enter what was once their home, the students are being forced to live out in the open, battling the sun, the rain and the winter chill.
What is worse is that none of the concerned authorities seems to be interested in taking responsibility.
The HC order, dated May 2011, clearly indicates that the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) allowed the students of the LWBA to enter the building. However, the building is yet to be de-sealed.
Kamlesh, one of the students, said, "Nobody is telling us what to do. We have been to many authorities, from the MCD to the DDA to the police. But for the past one and a half years, we are just being made to run from pillar to post."
When contacted, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit said, "You are telling me this is near Janakpuri area...? I will ask DUSIB why haven't they done anything so far."
The students, meanwhile, hope that this promise will possibly turn into action.