Thursday, September 13, 2012

Reaching Out To The Homeless

Today we had the opportunity to visit a few of the programs that Maitri provides for some of the more vulnerable populations in Delhi.  Multiple times a month, Maitri holds a health camp at various locations in the city for rickshaw pullers.  These men often find themselves in situations where their health is greatly compromised and they not only need health care (medicine), but they also need to be tested for HIV or other blood-borne diseases.  What a great service Maitri provides! It brings healthcare to these people right where they work and live so that they can get the care they need right away.

We also visited several homeless shelters and met with some very grateful residents of the shelters.  Although there is still much to be done to improve the process for getting government assistance to these people, Maitri is making a lot of progress and really helping people that just need a little help to get them back on their feet and, once again, able to provide for their families.  I was really impressed with the dedication of the staff and program managers at each of these sites.  They are obviously passionate about what they do and willing to sacrifice a great deal to help others.

It is obvious that it is a great undertaking to address the homeless problem in Delhi, but I’m glad to see that there is some help available to these people. If only we could do more….
Health Camp at temporary homeless shelter

The bus in the background is a mobile health unit where HIV/Aids testing is done at remote locations.  The clients find out before they leave if they have HIV.

This is one of the shelters that Maitri has recently been assigned to manage.

This woman was at one of the health camps.  She was standing by the tree, watching the crowd.  I asked if I could take her picture and she was a little shy, but agreed.  One of the other women helped her pose and I think she liked the outcome.  I did too.

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