How unkind! 20 visually impaired students left out in cold as DDA demolishes hostel

New Delhi, Dec 23: The Delhi High Court has sought response of the DDA over its decision to demolish a hostel for the blind which left 20 visually impaired students without a roof in winter.

Occupants of a hostel for visually impaired are residing in the open since their hostel in Virendra Nagar was demolished by DDA on 15 December, allege they were not given prior information or time to gather belongings.

"When demolition took place only 3 people were here, rest went for classes. DDA only took out big articles, smaller things like documents, cooking items etc are under debris. They say they'll accommodate us in different hostels but we want to stay together," said a hostel occupant.

"We are 20 people and had 8 rooms, now we are left homeless in this cold. As all of us are visually impaired, we are each other's support, being separated will be very bad for us," said caretaker of hostel in Delhi's Virendra Nagar, that was demolished by DDA,

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also expressed concern over their rehabilitation and sought to know from the local authorities about their well-being.

The bench directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to submit a status report, giving details of the place they have been shifted to.

The court issued notice to the authorities after it came across a news report that occupants of a hostel for visually impaired students in Janakpuris Virender Nagar here have been sleeping in the open for almost a week now, after the DDA demolished their hostel on December 15.

The high court on its own initiated proceedings against the authorities after the news report alleged that the occupants were neither given prior information about the demolition nor ample time to gather their belongings.

The hostel, Louis Welfare Progressive Association of the Blind, has been running for the last 17 years. Around 20 people, mostly students of Delhi University or the nearby Sarvodaya school, used to stay there.

News24Bureau with Agencies