The National Capital of India, Delhi is in an epidemic of heat stroke. The city is facing major issues with the hike in the mercury of the past few weeks. The Meteorological Department of Delhi has confirmed that the temperature can reach up to 50 degree Celsius calling it an ‘Abnormal Summer’ due to the rise of two to four degree in temperature than usual the for NCR region.

People are struggling and dealing with this sweeping heat with a lot of difficulties. “The summer is becoming harder to deal with every passing day, and due to lack of resources the day to day problems have increased “says Sona, who works as a house help, in the city. She also added that, she has to ask for ice from different homes to be able to drink chilled water.

Billu, a vegetable vendor had a similar story to tell. He has to stay outside for almost 12 hours of the day, with the mercury going up to 43 degree Celsius. He mentions that the customer flow is almost to zero in the afternoon hours.

The hottest summer of all time, has made lives of people in Delhi a lot more challenging than the past seasons, due to which people have to find shelter under the flyovers and under metro lines in the search of relief. To help such people, organisations like DUSIB under the guidance of Delhi Government are trying to provide a shelter at least for the night time.

Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) is a Non-Profit Organisation which has been appointed to provide shelters and homes for the displaced people on the Delhi roads. DUSIB functions under the control of Govt. of NCT of Delhi and is primarily functioning under the purview of the DUSIB Act, 2010. This act empowers the DUSIB to notify certain areas as slums, where with the passage of time, the buildings have become dilapidated and the basic civic services are missing. Apart from this, DUSIB has been also assigned the role of looking after the Jhuggie Jhompri (Squatter Settlements/ Clusters) by way of provision of civic amenities and their resettlement too.

On visiting the DUSIB shelter in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi near the Ram-Leela ground and talking to the caretaker Prasad Singh and few people living in the Rain Basera (shelter), we discovered that the people who are seeking the shelter are both happy and disappointed by the work of the organisation and the government.

Two coolers (out of which one wasn’t working), around twelve beds or mats and 4 fans are making the conditions better for the homeless in the scorching heat, but few issues like proper sanitation facilities and lack of cleanliness make the living conditions more challenging. The people living in the shelter for relief are still looking out to other resources for help.

The Citizen had a conversation with Akul Dayyan, a correspondent of DUSIB. Dayyan said that the organisation is working hard to make sure that the people have better living conditions. When asked about sanitations and vaguely working coolers, he said ‘the office is not aware of these facts and they’ll try to fix these problems as soon as possible.’ The vision of DUSIB, as told by Akul Dayyan is to help people in the best way possible.

The sweltering heat in the Capital, has led to large numbers of people being admitted to hospitals due to dehydration and diarrheal issues. The Citizen spoke to Dr. S.K Nagrani, physician and cardiologist, who confirmed the sudden increase in the number of patients dealing with dehydration and diarrhoea due to the high temperature. He also said ‘the people have to understand the need to keep themselves hydrated and well fed to able to deal with this type of environmental conditions.’

Dr Nagrani also gave few suggestions to help face this summer which includes, drinking more water, making a diy air conditioner, optimizing your fans, keeping the food cool and avoid using the oven, eating healthy food, exercising comfortably even in the heat and optimizing windows.