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Raen Baseras fail to attract visitors in city
A Raen Basera near the railway station in Jalandhar. file Photo

Raen Baseras fail to attract visitors in city

Insufficient mattresses, filthy quilts, shortage of staff among reasons for the low footfall13 Dec 2018 | 1:52 AM

JALANDHAR: Ill-equipped Raen Baseras (night shelters) constructed in various parts of the city for homeless have failed to attract shelterless people, even after the onset of winter season.

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Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, December 12

Ill-equipped Raen Baseras (night shelters) constructed in various parts of the city for homeless have failed to attract shelterless people, even after the onset of winter season.

Insufficient beds and mattresses, lack of staff (only one attendant is there instead of six) and official apathy are among the reasons due to which these see less visitors.

The night shelters have been built under the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) scheme for the urban homeless population. There are around eight shelter homes in various parts of the city constructed by the Jalandhar Municipal Corporation.

Surprisingly, with the capacity to house around 60-80 people only 8-10 persons have been visiting the night shelter constructed near the railway station on a daily basis. There is a separate hall for women as well.

Besides, only one caretaker was there in the shelter home. As per the official orders, there should be at least six workers in the night shelter — two (one male and one female) during the day shift and two during the night shift. However only a woman worker was working there for the past one year.

Seema, a caretaker who was present during the daytime, said she had been appointed for night shift but due to the unavailability of any other caretaker, she was on the day duty as well. Moreover, on contacting officials, contractor Vikas Dhawan claimed to have appointed a plumber, a dry cleaner, a sweeper, an electrician and five supervisors, interestingly he failed to provide whereabouts of any of the workers other than the female caretaker.

In addition, a board displayed at the shelter home mentions the presence of a first-aid kit inside the home, no trained first-aid provider has been appointed at the Rain Baseras. Despite the claims by the authorities concerned that mattresses and blankets are provided, they were found to be dirty. The toilets were also found to be in a filthy condition.

“The number of people may increase with the dip in the temperature. But as of now, around 10 persons have been coming here daily,” said Seema.

The shelter home near Lyallpur Khalsa College was found to be occupied by far less number of the homeless than its actual capacity. Lying on the bed is also a compromise for visitors as mattresses and quilts were reeked of filth. The water tank kept on the rooftop for washrooms was also leaking, the caretaker said.

Meanwhile, for the availability of fresh items for the Raen Baseras, Dhawan said they were yet to receive funds under the maintenance tender, which was forwarded quite a long ago to the administration by the contractor.

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