Saturday, November 25, 2017
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The rain fury on Friday night, that  continued till Saturday morning turned the cold weather more chilly and unbearable. The way it started raining  accompanied by lightning and loud thunder, must have  panicked those who were caught midway . It was worse for the people of a large number of localities that had to face power failure owing to bursting transformers .


This was the time when one expected bonfires at different crossings. When it was not raining, I found many people setting fire to roadside garbage heaps. Their argument was that fire was fire whether it comes from logs of wood  or from garbage waste. I told them about the risks involved. But they were not open to any sane advice. Although some garbage cans carry the warning against setting the waste matter on fire, but who cares! It is only when  people start sneezing after inhaling the poisonous fumes from the garbage heaps that they understand the gravity of the matter.
And the plight of those taking shelter in some of the shelter homes could hardly be enviable.  The cold being unbearable, the least that one would expect is some sort of warmth at these places. Philanthropists have distributed  blankets to the under-privileged. But not all rushing to shelter homes in an emergency could be belonging to the deprived sections. Some go there just to escape rain.If shelter homes are without light and other facilities the people taking refuge there are bound to suffer.
It is interesting to note that a team of law students working under the aegis of Human Rights Law Network, a civil rights organization, recently visited 10 night shelters in Allahabad and found basic amenities missing in most places. Some shelter homes were under unauthorized occupation too.  Illegal occupants cannot be there without the  consent  of some of those that matter. This is highly objectionable.
Seeing this horrible state of affairs, a PIL was filed in Allahabad High Court before the  Bench of Chief Justice  D.Y.Chandrachud and Mr Justice Dilip Gupta, who have responded  by asking the district authorities to initiate a probe by senior officers and submit a report by January 23. The court has said  the officials must ensure that the conditions at these  shelters  help the users to spend the night with dignity, especially where women are staying. 

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