New Delhi
Ankur P - Flickr.com

In the Indian capital of New Delhi, many of the roughly 60,000 homeless people of the city are choosing to sleep on the streets and deal with the winter cold instead of staying in a government shelter.

Due to a lack of amenities, bad sanitation and overcrowding in government facilities, the homeless are finding the cold and unsafe streets more preferable, Zee News reported.

“The blankets provided at these shelters are unwashed and smelly,” said one homeless person. “We do not know who slept on those bedrolls before us and the blankets are usually full of lice, bedbugs and other ticks.”

Homeless families in the city have added incentive to stay on the sidewalk rather than sleeping in a shelter, as the government facilities segregate men and women, meaning husbands, wives and children would have to separate.

The country’s Supreme Court has repeatedly issued directives for shelters across India to house the homeless during the winter months.

Even if some homeless want to stay in city shelters, there are only 135 shelters with capacity for about 13,000 people.