The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) on 19 May, instituted an enquiry and sought detailed reasons into the demolition of a Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) night shelter for women and children, after which over hundreds were rendered shelter-less and had to spend nights on road.
The Commission, in its notice to the Delhi Police and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), said demolishing the shelter belonging to the most downtrodden section of the society and to displace them from a government-run shelter home without prior rehabilitation and prior notice is a direct violation of human rights.
"At a time, when crime against women and girls is increasing in Delhi, this act of the authority has left over 100 women and girls 'homeless' and significantly increased their vulnerability. It is to be noted that many children living in the night shelter were orphans. It is the duty of the Government authorities to protect them. Instead, their only shelter has been demolished apparently without any rehabilitation plan. Presently, the 100 women and girls are on the braving crouching heat," the commission said.
The Commission sought:
1. Detailed reasons for demolition of the night shelter
2. Whether any notices were served to the DUSIB/NGO/Residents informing them of the demolition
3. Steps taken by the DDA for prior rehabilitation of the residents
4. Was DDA aware of the use of force against the women and girls by the Delhi Police?
5. Reason for not providing the residents adequate time to collect their belongings
6. Details of the officer responsible for ordering the demolition and executing the same
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also expressed concern over the disturbing development and assured that the children were being shifted to another home.
On Thursday, a children home shelter 'SPYM-Wishes and Blessing Home', where over 50-60 children used to live was allegedly demolished.
The home shelter SPYM is a Delhi Government-aided Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and was provided land by the government.
"The SPYM-Wishes and Blessing home is my home. 50-60 children used to live in this home and we adopted this place in 2014 from the Delhi Government's Raen Basera policy and transformed it into SPYM-Wishes and Blessings Home. There are 60 children and 15 females here, who were all abandoned at one time. Out of these 60 children, 45 go to schools. Today, DDA people arrived and demolished our home," the SPYM owner told ANI.