Blanket bank launched in Delhi

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Aden - Yasmin Abdel Azim - New Delhi: In a first of its kind initiative, a blanket bank has been launched in national capital Delhi for shelterless people struggling in the cold weather as well as patients and their kin in government hospitals.

Launched by non-governmental organisation (NGO) ‘Aao Saath Chalen’, the bank provides blankets and quilts to the poor and needy free of cost.

Lok Sabha (Lower House of Parliament) Speaker Om Birla inaugurated the first facility at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital on Wednesday evening.

“The blanket bank is started to help the poor people, especially poor patients and their relatives in government hospitals. It is often seen that the patients and the people accompanying them come from far away areas and have to spend nights in the open near the hospital. The idea behind this initiative is to particularly help such people,” national convener of the NGO Vishnu Mittal told Al Khaleej Today.

The patient or their family can take blankets and quilts in the evening from the bank and deposit them in the morning.

“On the basis of admission slips given by the hospitals, the family members of those hospitalised will be given quilts and blankets to be used during the night. The beneficiaries will use and deposit them at the bank again in the morning. No rent will be charged at all for it,” Mittal added.

Om Birla lamented the hardships faced by thousands of distressed people who had no option but to sleep in the open in the extremely cold weather of Delhi.

“The government works to provide basic facilities to every citizen but sometimes that is not enough. Every able person in the society should extend support for such initiatives. The competent people of the society should come forward to help the disabled people and become partners in building a new India,” Birla added.

Mittal informed that after setting up the blanket bank in hospitals, he would personally visit the streets of Delhi to make blankets and quilts available to the shelterless people.

“People from all over the country come to Delhi in pursuit of employment. They obviously have no residence here. They are forced to sleep on the pavement in the open even in the winter season. It is a matter of concern not only for the government but for all of us. We all should take efforts to come forward and help such people,” he said.

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