AFP, Posted on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 09:44
The unusually cold wave that hit New Delhi in recent days has caused death among the homeless in the Indian metropolis of 20 million people.
The capital of India is used for extreme weather variations, with temperatures often hovering above 35 or 40 degrees, peaking during the rainy season or in the fall. Despite this the wind, frost and rain of January are still being experienced by many as a test.
On Tuesday, New Delhi recorded the coldest January day since 2013, with a maximum temperature of 12.1 degrees Celsius, ten degrees below normal. It was close to zero at least occasionally and was as low as 10 degrees Celsius for several days.
Since the beginning of this year, 176 people have been frozen in the city, according to Sunil Kumar Aladia, a member of one of the capital’s major homeless organizations. “Because of these extreme temperatures, many people are dying on the streets,” he told the AFP.
“The last ten days have been very cold, especially last week, with not much sunlight. We are worried because it is difficult to stay warm,” local official Mukesh told AFP. The 30-year-old homeless man was met at an emergency shelter.
On the streets of New Delhi, many homeless people try to stay warm around a burning fire on the sidewalk at night.
According to the last 2011 census, there were about 47,000 homeless people in New Delhi, which humanitarian organizations consider far less than a reality. The city’s hostels have only 9,300 beds.
According to the Meteorological Department of India, the maximum temperature in Delhi was two to six degrees below average in January.
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