Patients awaiting treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Science are living in tents and on pavements for months at a time as the centre reels under the weight of demand
The night-time cold in New Delhi is biting. As the temperature plunges, Alam Ansari’s twin daughters, born prematurely, have only their parents’ body heat to keep them warm while they huddle in a crowded tent on the road outside the capital’s top hospital.
They are not alone. Each day, about 8,000 people from across the country queue outside the outpatients department for treatment. Mainly from poorer backgrounds, they sleep in tents or on the ground.