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NNWN/04/08/2021

Housing and Land Rights Network( HLRW) has revealed that 90 per cent homeless were unable to eat even a single meal daily in lockdown during the second wave of Covid 19 , while 58 per cent of them were able to secure only one meal per day. HLRW conducted a study on prevailing conditions of homeless in  Delhi. Under the study, HLRW found that In absence of adequate state support during the pandemic, homeless suffered from severe food insecurity, loss of livelihoods, adverse health impacts, and other forms of deprivation and destitution.

The findings of the study has made startling revelations. The study said that 90 per cent of those living outdoors revealed that they were unable to eat even a single meal daily during the lockdown, while 58 per cent of them stated that they were able to secure only one meal per day. Even after the lockdown in Delhi was lifted, as of 1 July 2021, 16 per cent of the participants living on the streets reported being able to afford only a single meal per day while 62 per cent of them had access to two meals a day. Almost 98 per cent of the homeless people surveyed do not have access to milk for their children. During the lockdown, only 13 per cent of those living on the streets arranged their meals with government assistance. The majority (46 per cent) depended on food from charitable organizations. After the lockdown, 64 per cent of the participants living outdoors said they were able to organize their own meals while others continue to rely on organizations (23 per cent) and the government (2 per cent) for food.

According to the study, almost 91 per cent of the respondents reported having no work or income during the lockdown, while 8 per cent stated that their livelihood was partially affected. As of 1 July 2021, even after easing of lockdown restrictions, 46 per cent of the people did not have any work.

The study stated that 66 per cent did not have sanitizers, 86 per cent of them did not own a thermometer, and 87 per cent did not have basic medicines for fever and other ailments. At the time of this survey, over 40 per cent of the homeless persons interviewed did not know about the COVID-19 vaccines and almost 83 per cent of them had not been vaccinated.

Homeless women faced more challenges during the 2021 lockdown. Sixty three per cent ate only one meal a day during the lockdown, while 7 per cent of them could not eat daily. Pregnant women were unable to access healthcare during the lockdown. Only 21 per cent of the women had received the first dose of the COVID vaccine, at the time of the survey done from June 23 to July 1).