New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday disposed of public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the Delhi government to provide nutritious meals to the urban homeless living in shelter homes across the national capital.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan disposed of the plea with a liberty to the petitioner to file a civil matter application in an already pending petition with similar prayers set to come up for hearing on July 29, in which notices have already been issued.
The petition, filed by an organisation working for the marginalised people -- Bandhua Mukti Morcha -- had sought directions to provide age-appropriate nutritious food to children as per Schedule II of the National Food Security Act, 2013 in shelter homes across the national capital.
It also sought the distribution of soaps, detergents, hand sanitizers, hand wash, and masks to urban homeless in all shelter homes in Delhi.
The plea alleged that thousands of urban homeless at shelter homes in Delhi are denied basic food requirements and added that the respondents have stopped providing cooked meals at shelter homes, due to which the homeless including children are starving.
The petition, moved through advocate Anupradha Singh, also mentioned that on July 6, a representation was sent on behalf of the petitioner to the government authorities, however, no response was received on the same.
It alleged that the meals at shelter homes although inadequate and of poor quality was the only barrier between the homeless and the death due to starvation, and now that the meals have stopped, many are starving, including children as young as three-years-old.
This goes on to suggest the insensitivity of the respondents who have abdicated it's duly of securing the fundamental rights of the people, the plea.
"The highest rate of mortality due to COVID-19 is amongst those with a weak immune system. The homeless due to generations of poverty, lack of nutrition, and poor healthcare have low immunity levels making them one of the most vulnerable to the virus," the plea said.
Therefore, the requirement of a nutritious meal is of paramount importance to the homeless in gaining immunity, which will further help in containing the spread of disease, it added. (ANI)