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Food Security of the Homeless in Delhi


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Author(s): Vandana Prasad, Soibam Haripriya and Smita Jacob

Title:  Food Security of the Homeless in Delhi

Publication: Public Health Resource Network (PHRN) and Centre for Equity Studies (CES) Working Paper

Date of Publication: April 2010

Authors' Abstract

A conservative estimate of one per cent of Delhi's population - 1.5 lakh adults and children -constitute one of the most vulnerable categories of the urban poor, the homeless.  Even as January 2010 recorded some of the lowest tempreatures, the death toll of homeless persons in Delhi battling the extreme temperature rose to twenty.  What needs to be highlighted is that scientific evidence points toward malnutrition and hunger underlying causes which make people susceptible to extreme weather. 

Taking account of this alarming situation of hunger deaths of the homeless, the Commissioners to the Supreme Court in the Right to Food case recommended that wholesome hot cooked meals be provided to the homeless populations at subsidized prices.  For the same, the Delhi government was advised to set up 500 community kitchens where affordable nutritious food is available and a further 100 kitchens which serve free food to the destitute.

In this context, then, it is significant to enquire into the situation of food security of the homeless populations in Delhi. This study aims to identify the nutritional status and dietary intake of different categories of homeless populations in Dehi.  The findings of the study are aimed at establishing the need of community kitchnes for the homeless in Delhi as also recommendations based on the findings for how this model should be organized. 

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