Disowned by family, retired judge Avikar Raj and London-based billionaire Lord Swaraj Paul’s cousin Ajay Kumar Aggarwal call this facility home

Forty-year-old Janki, a mentally-challenged woman who was brought to the shelter home in Vasant Kunj a year ago, is in tears.

She goes around looking for her best friend Poonam, but can’t find her. Caretakers at the facility have been trying to make her understand what happened, but have failed miserably.

A 27-year-old bedridden woman and an elderly man died while several others were left homeless once again after a major fire broke out at the shelter late on Thursday night.

Janki and several others lost their home, clothes and everything else. The inmates are now forced to live in the open, not knowing what the future holds. Those staying at the facility included people disowned by their children, HIV patients, destitute women and mentally-challenged persons.

“People are brought here from different places... Sometimes we find them on the road and sometime other people bring them to us. Our aim here is to provide them food, clothes, shelter and medical care,” said shelter home founder Ravi Kalra.

Disowned by his family, 64-year-old retired judge Avikar Raj now lives in the facility.

“I worked at the International Court of Justice for a long time and retired four years back. I came to this facility three years ago and now I love to stay here. I have dedicated my life to the service of these people here,” Mr. Raj said.

London-based billionaire Lord Swaraj Paul’s cousin Ajay Kumar Aggarwal, who has reportedly been abandoned by his son, is also staying at the same shelter home.

Mr. Aggarwal, who was forced to stay in the facility after an accident in February, has now become part of the crowd here.

“My relatives in Jalandhar offered to let me stay with them, but I did not want to be a burden on others. Also, I cannot leave the person who gave me shelter when my own family disowned me,” he told The Hindu.


Help flows in for Vasant Kunj home April 6, 2014

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