The Delhi government has announced that food and night shelters all across Delhi have now been listed and made live on Google Maps. An infographic shared by the Chief Minister's Office of Delhi on this matter reveals that over 1,000 such shelters, offering food and a safe place to sleep for the underprivileged and homeless in Delhi, are now listed on Google Maps. To find these shelters, users will only be required to search for 'food shelters in Delhi' or 'night shelters in Delhi', following which the closest available shelters will be shown on the Google Maps app.
By using the publicly available service, volunteers and civilians can help those stranded outside during this crisis period to reach a shelter that will offer better safety against the Covid-19 pandemic, as India remains under stringent lockdown state to prevent the community transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Last week, Google had announced that it was working closely with the central as well as state governments to enable the listing of public shelters to help the financially deprived.
Google had further stated the locations will also be made accessible via Google Search and the Google Assistant. To further increase the outreach of the service, Google had stated that it is already working on making the listings available in multiple Indian languages. It is largely relying on NGOs and traffic police officers, alongside volunteer groups, to use this data and help the homeless find a shelter in these trying times.
As the nation went into lockdown mode, the period underlined a particularly troubling crisis phase as migrant workers in numerous states were left stranded without work or pay. This is one of the most important aspects where the Google Maps listing may come into effect. Such listings should also be going live in various other states across India as well, within this week.