| A resident distributes blankets among rickshawpullers near the Old Secretariat on Monday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
The dip in the temperature has brought out the warmth in residents this winter.
A few Good Samaritans are distributing warm clothes and blankets to street-dwellers and vendors so that the needy could withstand the chill.
“Instead of going to the NGOs to make our contributions, we should rather take charity as an individual task,” said Kundan Singh, an entrepreneur.
Singh has decided to distribute blankets among street-dwellers, who are battling hard to overcome the winter nightmare.
Madhu Agarwal of Boring Road has distributed almost 30 blankets and 20 sweaters among female small-time vendors.
“Our aim was to shield the women first from this unbearable cold. A woman is the root of a family. If she, by any chance, falls ill, the entire family would suffer. Small girls are often found begging on roads in this bone-chilling cold without woollen clothes. So, we thought of protecting them,” Agarwal said.
The blankets and sweaters were distributed in Dakbungalow Chowk, Gandhi Maidan and Shaguna Mor.
Ragpicker Deepak (17) sleeps on the corridors of Mauryalok Complex. To keep himself warm, he tied pieces of cloth around his legs, hands and head and used jute bags as blankets till Monday. “I have to sleep on the corridors of the complex because I do not have a night shelter. The blanket that I received today (Tuesday) has been the best thing that happened in my life till now. I cannot make you understand how badly I needed it,” said the ragpicker, adding that the benevolent resident was Godsend.
Keeping the plummeting temperature in mind, Puneet Priyadarshi, who was in the city for his winter holidays from Canada, donated 20 blankets among ragpickers and the homeless before leaving for Montreal.
“People living, eating and sleeping on the streets is a regular sight in the state capital. Thousands of poor, who cannot afford to buy a house, end up on footpaths and under flyovers. We should individually take up charitable works and not depend on NGOs,” Priyadarshi said before leaving for Canada.
Animesh Jha, a chartered accountant, celebrated this New Year distributing blankets among homeless people.
A group of young entrepreneurs of the city, on the other hand, has come together to keep rickshawpullers away from liquor this winter. The group would prepare bonfires on streets for them.
“Petty vendors and rickshawpullers can’t afford blowers or heaters during winter. They consume cheap liquor to keep themselves warm. So, I decided to prepare small bonfires outside my house and on the streets where they can keep themselves warm,” said Vijay Kumar, a resident of Danapur and a doctor, who is part of the charity group.