People donate money, food, blankets and medicines

A day after a shelter for the homeless in Vasant Kunt burnt down in a major fire, help in the form of money, food, blankets and medicines flowed in from all around for the rehabilitation of the inmates rendered homeless yet again.

The caretakers at the shelter home told The Hindu that many people, who came to know about the incident from newspapers, came to the shelter home on Saturday to donate food, medicines, blankets and money. Many college students also came forward to extend a helping hand.

However, some old inmates expecting their relatives to visit them after the fire were left disappointed when no one turned up.

The good news is that besides all the help, a landowner nearby is ready to rent the shelter home founders the space to construct a permanent structure.

“We are in talks with a person who has agreed to rent us a plot for constructing a permanent rehabilitation home. We will rent the plot with token money and give the rest over the next four months. The money we collect from donations will be used to rent the space for a permanent structure,” said shelter home founder Ravi Kalra.

As of now, all inmates are living under a marquee erected on the ground that housed the shelter home.

Meanwhile, post-mortems were conducted on the bodies of fire victims Ramesh Chand and Poonam on Saturday. While Ramesh was cremated at the Vasant Kunj crematorium after his nephew — a Delhi Police Sub-Inspector — identified him, Poonam’s body has been preserved.

In absence of any relatives from her side, the shelter home caretakers have decided to cremate her on Sunday.

“We had found Poonam on the streets in Connaught Place. We do not even know her name. Poonam is a name that we gave her,” Mr. Kalra said.

Her DNA sample has also been preserved in case the need for identity verification arises in the future.

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