‘There is no vibrant scheme that can benefit the most destitute as they continue to sleep on streets’.


New Delhi: The capital’s disproportionate offerings of subsidies have led poor and elderly to fend for themselves at a time when incapacity and health-related problems disallow them to work to their full potential.

As the Delhi government pays Rs 3,090 crore in subsidies to the power companies, “approximately 90% of households are availing the benefit of subsidy on electricity,” Manish Sisodia said presenting the budget of 2021. The benefit is only availed by households; there is no vibrant scheme that can benefit the most destitute as they continue to sleep on streets, on footpaths, and under any available places that can cover their heads from rain.

At the age of 90, Niyazudin walks half a mile from Okhla Mandi (where he sleeps) to a metro property where he sits to sell his Rs 10 products, “I used to sit on footpath but the police would remove me and it happened regularly, so I came to this metro property, they allowed me to sit here, they were kind as they said you are an old man. I can’t go anywhere else with my weak legs, I can’t bear the sun outside anymore.”

Niyazudin recently got stolen of his basket and had to buy from what he had saved for difficult times. Sometimes he has no money but he refuses to beg. “How much can I make from a basket of Rs 10 products? It is just that I can eat at least one meal a day and build some energy for the next day to continue this cycle of living, it is difficult to survive when you are poor.”

“After so many years earning meagre sums, I feel tired now of walking from that place to this place and back to that place just to earn food that isn’t even sufficient. What if the government has a scheme that gives pensions to the old and I don’t know of it?” he asks.