Delhi winter kills: Man on mission to save the homeless says ‘found 27 dead so far’

Vicky Sharma said most deaths happen in January when winters peak.

WrittenBy:Pratyush Deep& Aryan Mahtta
Date:
   
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Delhi is freezing, with temperatures dipping to as low as 3 degrees, proving to be fatal for the poor and homeless in the national capital. 

And since 2017, Vicky Sharma, 33, has hit the city's roads every night during winter to help those without shelter. He searches for the homeless and distributes blankets to them.

Sharma, who was once homeless himself, is the general secretary of the Delhi Shelter Home Workers’ Union. “We rescue at least 50 people everyday. Since November 15, we have picked up 27 bodies of those who have died of cold on the road.” 

Sharma has no family and used to live at Patel Chowk metro station till December 2014. He then began working as a caretaker at the Delhi government-run night shelters. Moving around in an ambulance van, donated to him by social activist Sunil Kumar Aledia, Sharma usually helps people in the Old Delhi area.  

Aledia says 76 people are known to have died from cold between December 23 and January 5. 

Every year, Sharma and his team of four to five people – most of them previously homeless – find the bodies of at least 60-70 people who succumbed to the cold. “In January, the cold peaks and more people pass away. This year, we expect more people to die as there are not enough shelters and government aid,” he said.

Watch.

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