The two states were the worst affected. It is also here that the state failed to provide much needed relief. In Patna, outside CM Rabri Devi's bungalow on Anne Marg shivering villagers from Bahtiarpur wait imploringly for an audience. Abject poverty forced them to travel 45 km despite the bitter cold to assemble outside the CM's residence for free blankets—like beggars seeking alms. Says Kabootri: "We heard on the baja (radio) that blankets are being distributed here by the CM but so far we have got none and the securitymen have asked us to go away."
In Lucknow, Raju, a beggar in his 60s, has made a temple on the banks of river Gomti his permanent shelter. The largest Indian state and one of the most populous, UP does not even have sufficient night shelters to cater to its homeless population. In the state capital, Lucknow, there are just 50 night shelters for the homeless. "How will a few rain baseras (night shelters) cater to the thousands of homeless left to die on the streets due to cold?" asks Raju.