The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said that it has arranged free meals for over 1.27 crore, needy people since the day lockdown started (March 25) till April 10. The ministry worked with major municipal corporations in the country to feed the homeless and destitute in 17 days, it said.
The ministry instructed municipal corporations of ten cities-Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Indore, Patna, Lucknow, and Nagpur-to implement a comprehensive scheme to provide free meals to needy.
The comprehensive scheme also includes rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, education, skill development, counseling, with support of state government, local urban bodies, voluntary organisation, and other similar institutions.
The Government of India had announced a relief package worth Rs 1.70 lakh crore to help the nation's poor tackle the financial difficulties arising from coronavirus outbreak. The package included a mix of food security and direct cash transfer benefits.
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked people to help the poor and needy. The PM said, "If you have so much love for and want to honour Modi, then take responsibility for a poor family at least as long as coronavirus crisis exists. There can be no great honour for me than this."
Yesterday, the Supreme Court took note of the Centre's submission that it was taking steps to implement relief measures to help the poor during the nationwide lockdown and disposed of a PIL seeking relief such as financial help and food for them.