The Himalayan Times, January 03, 2019
As many as 10 homeless persons, who were compelled to spend nights in the open, died due to cold in the last 15 days in Kathmandu.
Fifty five-year-old Radhe Basnet, who had been living on the street near Bageshwari temple in Chabahil for around four years, was found dead at around 3:00pm today. Basnet, who was a permanent resident of Maijubahal, succumbed to cold after spending several nights under the open sky, according to police.
According to Spokesperson for Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, DSP Hobindra Bogati, on an average one elderly homeless person is dying due to cold since December. “So far 10 homeless persons above the age of 50 have died,” said DSP Bogati.
He also said police had started a campaign to save the lives of persons spending nights under the open sky. “Police have already identified 128 homeless elderly persons, who are taking shelter in temples, sattals and public parks,” he added.
According to police, there are least 200 elderly persons, who are homeless, in Kathmandu.
“A large number of such persons live around temples like Pashupati and Swoyambhu,” he informed, adding that Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, was planning to take such homeless persons to foster homes.
Yesterday, on the first day of the campaign, police rescued seven persons from Kalimati and Swoyambhu area. They were later referred to Himalaya Old age Home, Gongabu. Nawaraj Thakuri, 54, Rabi Thapa, 50, Dipesh Rai, 55, Bhimsen Baskota, 40, Ram Kaji, 40, Gyanendra Singh, 67, and Lakshman Dhakal, 50, were rescued by police yesterday.
DSP Bogati also said that they had distributed cash, blankets, food items and other stuff to the old age home, where the rescued elderly persons were kept.