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In India’s Capital, the Homeless Are Suffering a Record Winter

India is the largest country in the world after China. With a GDP of $1,644 billion US dollars, India has sustained growth rates of up to 9% and is one of the world’s economic giants. However, because the vast majority of Indians continue to live in terrible poverty, only a tiny percentage of the population has benefited from the country’s phenomenal economic progress thus far. Among the poor are the homeless, mostly living in urban areas of India. Among the issues they face is the lack of sufficient identification paperwork required by hospitals, the costs, and the tendency of physicians to publicly reject homeless people, resulting in hundreds of deaths during the recent severe winter.

India’s capital suffers from an extremely brutal winter cold that has killed hundreds of homeless individuals. The approximate 20 million residents of the huge megacity are used to extreme weather around the year, from scorching hot weather to torrential rain and dense, deadly pollution in the fall. Even yet, the bitter cold and stormy rains this year turned into a nightmare for many, with New Delhi experiencing its lowest temperatures in nearly a decade (Aljazeera, 2022).

Overpopulation in India has led to poor climatic conditions in the country. The ecological footprint measures the distribution of resources and mankind’s demand for nature. The ecological footprint concept aid individuals worldwide assess and utilizing the available natural resources without burdening nature. India has been proven to have the highest ecological footprint worldwide due to its overpopulation (Wheeler et al., 2005). As a result, the Indian people have suffered a significant impact caused by this imbalance. In his book Global problems, Serneu (2021) discusses problems that arise from crowding, environmental distraction, and urbanization. Poverty and homelessness are some issues that have been highlighted as to have caused suffering and driven up the mortality rate of the Indian populace.

The majority of homeless people in Delhi live on street isles, highways, pavements, and anywhere else they will find shelter. Most homeless people live a nomadic life, wandering around looking for the best place to live for themselves and their families (The Pioneer, 2021). They also have to deal with severe weather regularly, such as severe snow or rain. Moreover, Women are also more vulnerable to trafficking, abuse, and harassment (CDC, 2021) which contributes to more health hazards. Furthermore, Street Families have very little access to essential resources, like sanitation. These challenges have had severe impacts on the well-being of the homeless, thus driving up their mortality rates.

Officials in India say that they have about 9,300 shelters for accommodating homeless people in India. However, due to the countries over-population, these efforts hardly offer a bed for a small percentage of the homeless. This could be blamed on the government’s poor policies. For instance, in 2015, In a decision to combat homelessness and poverty, Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana Housing Act into law, which was designed to oversee India’s entire populace has a house by the year 2022. Many years later, the policy seems to have been proven a failure by the recent deaths of homeless people and the ever high rate of poverty in India (Hansford, 2022). Many have come out to criticize the government’s commitment to attend to the plight of the poor.

In conclusion, the recent deaths during the winter have exposed the perils of the poor and homeless in India’s Capital, Delhi. The Indian government’s efforts to mitigate the issue have proven futile. In this case, the Indian government should call for action through better policy analysis and innovation to mitigate its problems.


Aljazeera. (2022, February 1). In pictures: New Delhi’s homeless shiver through the harsh cold snap. Breaking News, World News and Video from Al Jazeera.

Hansford, C. R. (2022, January 11). Week three presentation [PowerPoint slides, lecture notes]. Campbellsville University.

CDC. (2021, October 26). Climate migration is predicted to rise in India amid extreme weather. YouTube.

The Pioneer. (2021, August 2). Overpopulation and poverty.

Sernau, S. (2021). Global problems: The search for equity, peace, and sustainability. Waveland Press.

Wheeler, B., Wheeler, G. & Church, W. (2005). Population trends, carrying capacity: History, trends, and Possibilities. In It’s all connected: A comprehensive guide to global issues and sustainable solutions. Facing the Future: People and the Planet.


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