Indian patients take shelter in public toilets


On the coldest day in Delhi, many patients were forced to sleep in a public toilet outside the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), the biggest hospital in India, local media reported on Thursday.
Amongst those who took shelter in the toilets was a 6-year-old child who had lost both his eyes due to cancer and has been coming to the hospital for treatment since the past three years from Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh.
Since the child had not been given a bed, he had to face the bone-chilling cold with his father, every night in a public toilet.
The father-son duo however, is not alone in the suffering. With temperatures in the Indian capital dipping drastically, about 20 homeless people take shelter in this public toilet every night. They cook their food and sleep there and most of them are getting their relatives treated in AIIMS.
The Delhi government has arranged about 150 shelters for the homeless, but with around 300,000 people on the streets of Delhi, all shelters are already saturated.
These people outside AIIMS say they would rather stay on the footpath or this toilet than the government-run shelters, due to the extremely unhygienic conditions and congestion there.
Last year too, public toilets had been used as a shelter by the homeless patients and their relatives. The police had then removed the homeless from there, but with nowhere to go, the cold has forced them to take shelter there yet again.