Delhi’s Freezing Cold And The Warm Comforts Of Rainbasera By Delhi Government Is Commendable.

Himanshu Kumar

On a cold winter night, when temperature gets as low as two degree Celsius, the deathly stillness of the night rises to swallow every puny being that doesn’t bend down. As it starts getting chillier and foggier, people start scrambling for extra layers to keep themselves warm. But in India, there is always a class of people who can’t afford that extra thing. Even if they can, they need shelter because the biting cold of Delhi is cruel enough to its people.

In such a terrible situation what Delhi government has done for its people is worth appreciation. The capital city has around 270 Rain Baseras (night shelters) built by the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). There are 92 shelters in permanent buildings, 112 in porta cabins, 55 in tents and five in unused buses. The Rain baseras are operated by NGOs under the supervision of DUSIB.


Rainbasera in a permanent house                     via- www.newslaundry.com

The board’s website displays a city map indicating the location of various rain baseras. Most are there in the central parts of the city. Quite a few of them are difficult to spot, because they are located in unexpected places. As the evening progresses and starts getting chillier, people continue to trickle in. These shelters are in great demand only during winters. During warmer months people prefer to sleep outdoors on the streets.

Each shelter has got mats and blankets sufficient enough to accommodate 50-60 people at a time. All the shelters have water, toilet facilities and caretakers while some have television and geysers as well. Also, there are 19 night shelters exclusively for women and children. The latest figures available put night-time occupancy at around 6,000 people, though the over 20,000 people can be easily accomodated.

Many people don't want to go to shelters even in the winters. They believe that the rain baseras are not safe as many drunkards, thieves and other unwanted elements are also there. Security of the occupants should be checked by the government.

 Policemen patrol all night to ensure that no one is left to die out in the harsh weather conditions. Not only this, the government has launched a unique app “Rain Basera” using which anyone who finds a homeless can click an image and post it on the app. It will automatically be detected by the rescue teams who will provide night shelter to the homeless.


Rainbasera in an unused bus

The app also contains a list of all the shelters so that a person can call the nearest shelter and inform them about the homeless. There are 23 rescue teams equipped with vehicles and manpower to do their job.

Every night around 22,000 people check into the rain baseras. Whatever facilities are made available in these rain baseras and whatever drawbacks they may have, they are blessings for the 22,000 who would otherwise have slept on pavements, at traffic signals, under flyovers and street lights and would have died a tragic death in the bone chilling weather of Delhi this winter.