On New Year, Shimla-based NGO distributes blankets to homeless under its winter campaign “Let No One Die of Cold”
They covered the area from Sankat Mochan Temple to New Bus Stand and Old Bus Stand. A number of homeless and ailing men and women were found shivering in cold, who were given blankets.The trust said that the campaign will continue during severe winters
SHIMLA- Shimla was jam-packed with tourists on New Year Eve. Some of them celebrated it in the city while others remained stuck in long traffic jams on Shimla-Chandigarh Highway. A hunt was going on for suitable spots or venues to welcome the New Year with celebrations. Meanwhile, members of a Shimla-based non-profit organization were celebrating it by extending some contribution to the society. Wandering in Shimla city to spot homeless including destitute elderly, those with disabilities, and diseased and offering them blankets in winters sounds something meaningful in this context.
Umang Foundation launched its annual winter season campaign “Let No One Die of Cold” to help save homeless elderly, destitute women and mentally sick persons in and around Shimla town from the start of the New Year. Accompanied by the Chairman Ajai Shrivastva, volunteers distributed blankets to these people living in rain shelters and bus stands.
Mr. Srivastava said that they covered the area from Sankat Mochan Temple to New Bus Stand and Old Bus Stand. A number of homeless and ailing men and women were found shivering in cold, who were given blankets.
The trust said that the campaign will continue during severe winters and if the need be, homeless people will be sent to safe shelters.
The Chairman said that now volunteers of the Foundation will visit more rain shelters in to identify and help-out the needy homeless. He has also urged the district administration to take care of such homeless so that their ‘Right to Life’ could be protected.
Last year six such ailing homeless were rescued by the efforts of the foundation and shited to old age homes, said Mr. Shrivastva.
This included Sheikh Shamim, a mentally sick elderly man from West Bengal and ailing Om Prakash(82) from J&K who were living in rain shelter in very pathetic condition during snowfall. They were rescued and sent to the Old Age Home at Basantpur. Similarly, he added, Rajendra and Ganga Devi, an elderly Nepali disabled couple was rescued from a park in Rohru and rehabilitated in the old age home. Later Rajendra had died at the Home.
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Umang Foundation has been working for the protection rights of homeless, disabled, destitute, poverty stricken elderly men and women struggling to survive. Most recently, the Foundation highlighted the apathy of a severely disabled girl, Anitu, living in a remote region of Shimla.
She had not seen a doctor in 25 years of her life that she spent suffering with her mental and physical disability. Afterwards, the girl was brought to Shimla by the administration and sent to a shelter in district Kullu being run by an NGO. Sadly, Mr. had pointed out, the condition of the shelter home is miserable and the NGO isn’t being given sufficient funds due to which inmates are living in animal-like condition.
Similarly, on several occasion, the Foundation has came forward to help people in need. Mr. Shrivastva had also taken the issue of ‘Right to Education’ of students with disability in Himachal Pradesh to the High Court by filing writ petitions. After directions from the high court, the state government was pressurized to facilitate such students.