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Friday, July 12, 2024

192 Homeless Die in Delhi Heatwave from June 11-19: Report

According to a report by the NGO Centre for Holistic Development, 192 homeless individuals died as a result of the Delhi heatwave from June 11 to June 19.

This is the largest number of deaths documented during the specified time.cNotably, five people have died in Delhi in the last 72 hours as the national capital continues to suffer from a severe heatwave. The victims perished from heatstroke at three hospitals.

In Noida, too, more than 14 people died in the last 24 hours due to suspected heat stroke, according to the health department.

Executive director of the NGO, Sunil Kumar Aledia, said, “In a harrowing span from June 11 to 19, Delhi recorded the death of 192 homeless people, due to extreme heatwave conditions. This alarming statistic highlights the urgent need for proactive measures to protect one of society’s most vulnerable groups.”

A study by the NGO stated that homeless people account for 80 per cent of the unclaimed bodies of the people who died due to heatwaves.

Aledia said that factors like air pollution, rapid industrialisation, urbanisation, and deforestation have resulted in rising temperatures, further aggravating the conditions for the homeless.

Access to clean drinking water, essential for hydration, remains a significant challenge, thus increasing the risk of dehydration and related health complications.

“Despite the critical situation, homeless individuals frequently find themselves excluded from government welfare programs such as the Deen Dayal National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM-SUH) and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), primarily due to the lack of identification documents and a permanent address,” the director said.

“The absence of intermediary housing options or financial assistance leaves many with no choice but to live on the streets,” Aledia said.

“Solutions should include establishing cooling centres, ensuring adequate shelter capacity, distributing water, and addressing the underlying causes of homelessness through supportive housing and services,” he added.

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