People waiting for the food at Raisina road in New Delhi [Photo/ANI]
People waiting for the food at Raisina road in New Delhi [Photo/ANI]

Finding shelter amid COVID-19 lockdown, those stranded in Delhi recount struggles

ANI | Updated: Apr 16, 2020 16:00 IST

By Joymala Bagchi
New Delhi, [India], April 16 (ANI): Dressed in a sky blue shirt, black pants and with a bag slung on his shoulders, 60-year-old Pawan Kumar projects a desolate image with a layer of dirt caking his clothes.
Stranded in the national capital since the announcement of the coronavirus lockdown, Kumar is unable to go back to his home in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad.
While waiting for the food at Raisina road, Kumar narrated his ordeal to ANI and said, "Food is not a problem here. At least, I am eating twice a day but I have not found a shelter till date. Everyday I am sleeping either in the park or at the bus stop or on empty benches and footpaths."
Kumar says he also finds it difficult to keep himself sanitised as most days he is unable to take a bath.

Also, thrice he had purchased soaps but lost them as he keeps wandering for food and shelter around the city.
"I took a bath three days ago. The bathrooms in shelter homes have long queues. We are outsiders and our chance comes after everyone is done. Moreover hygiene is also a problem there," said Kumar .
For 58-year-old Om Prakash, a driver by profession, who lives in Jammu narrates a similar plight. Praksah who landed in Delhi for some personal work is now stuck.
"I do not know what to do. My family stays in Jammu and I am stuck here. I have no idea what they are doing for essential commodities. How they are managing?," Despite the trouble, he says he agrees that a lockdown was necessary to contain the spread of the virus.
Ashiq, a content writer from Gujarat, while waiting for his turn to get food at a shelter, said, "The situation is very grim here. I hoped there would be some kind of relaxation after March 20. However, I am not expecting travel restriction to go off. Yes, I am too facing problem in finding a shelter."
The content writer had visited more than 10 shelter homes and five schools but found it difficult to get a place for himself in the overcrowded places.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced an extension of its 3-week coronavirus lockdown further till May 3. In his address to the nation, he said that tight vigil will be kept on all hotspots and containment zones and strict implementation of the lockdown will be ensured in coming days so that the virus does not spread to new areas. (ANI)