The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), the Delhi government’s slum management agency, is seeking the help of college students to conduct a survey to identify issues alongside the problems faced by users of the agency’s roughly 1,000 communal toilets identify residents of nearly 800 emergency shelters.
The survey will also help the agency identify beneficiaries of the slum and JJ Cluster rehabilitation policies, which focus on in situ (on-site) rehabilitation of people living in slums, DUSIB officials said, adding that their efforts were hampered by a serious staff shortage and so they enlisted the help of students. The students receive a scholarship from €15,000 per month and presented with a certificate upon completion of the internship.
K Mahesh, Chief Secretive Officer, DUSIB, said survey teams are being deployed at 195 night shelters to understand residents’ needs, challenges and issues.
Mahesh said the survey will be conducted in slum clusters located on DUSIB sites to collect information on school-age children so the agency can decide on the locations for setting up public libraries. “We will also try to find out in which areas childcare is needed. Slums have a large number of nuclear families where both wives and husbands work and they have no one to take care of their children,” Mahesh said, adding that about 2.1 million people – nearly 10% of Delhi’s population – in these 800 live slum colonies.
The official said at some shelters, some people had stayed there for a long time — some as long as 10 years.
Mahesh said the board has also written to the vice-chancellors of Delhi University and Indraprastha University to encourage their willing students to take part in the survey.