Slum festival a ray of hope for Delhi’s homeless

The ongoing slum festival in Delhi’s shelter homes has given homeless people an opportunity to learn and participate in various recreational activities.
Homeless children play with a mobile phone at a night shelter on a chilly day | PTI
Homeless children play with a mobile phone at a night shelter on a chilly day | PTI

NEW DELHI: The ongoing slum festival in Delhi’s shelter homes has given homeless people an opportunity to learn and participate in various recreational activities. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia launched the week-long festival to spread awareness about the issues surrounding homelessness and its challenges on World Homeless Day, October 10.

The shelters set up activities such as medical camps, yoga, meditation classes, special drive on cleanliness and tidiness, tree plantation, gardeing and camps in collaboration with concerned departments for issuing Aadhaar cards or voter ID cards.

Sunita, one of the night shelter residents, said two teachers visit the shelter home at Sarai Kale Khan five days a week to teach the homeless children for free. “My children started getting education after we moved to this shelter home. Two teachers visit at least five days a week,” Sunita said. An 18-year-old Barkha, who was born in the slums and grew up at Sarai Kale Khan night shelter, spoke about a cultural program organised by the government on October 10.

“Around 15 children from Sarai Kale Khan night shelter participated at the program that was organised by the Delhi government on October 10. Children from several other shelter homes performed. There was a painting competition too,” she said. Residents said that apart from this festival, the Delhi government has taken various measures to make their lives easier. The first-of-its-kind festival is aimed at highlighting the needs of the marginal residents, recognising and celebrating their achievements.

Children participated in various activities
Shelters set up activities like medical camps, yoga, meditation classes, special drive on cleanliness and tidiness, tree plantation, gardening and camps in collaboration with departments concerned with issuing Aadhaar cards or voter ID cards. Children from several other shelter homes performed at the Sarai Kale Khan shelter and even had a painting competition, Barkha, a resident of the area said.

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