India unites against coronavirus: Hopes in dark times

India unites against COVID 19: Hopes in dark times

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While the government announcing a package worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore for daily wagers and the poor will go a long way in ensuring that no one goes to sleep hungry, individuals and organisations took the lead on their own to feed the teeming millions, who have been left stranded away from their home and hearth minus wages in different cities after the nation-wide lockdown.

These are random examples and the list of philanthropists is long, which provides a ray of hope in these dark times, when the poor and the destitute are facing double trouble of loss of bread and lurking disease and death. 

Read: Coronavirus India update: State-wise total number of confirmed cases

The concern that the lockdown will hugely affect the daily wagers vendors, rickshaw pullers, coolies and other such workers was flagged by Vishwa Hindu Parishad as well on March 23 days before the government on Thursday announced a slew of measures under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Organisations—religious and secular---both stepped in to share the burden even before Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday urged people to take feed at least nine families for the next 21-day and treat it true observance of Hindu festival Navratri.

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RSS arm Seva Bharati in Delhi started a 24x7 coronavirus Helpline Delhi with a doctor and its volunteer network, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Indraprastha also started distribution of money and food among. Already many state governments including of AAP ruled Delhi and Congress-ruled Punjab have started helplines.

On March 23 itself VHP announced a campaign to ensure that no one goes to sleep hungry due to lack of food during the lock-down period and invoked all resourceful people to chip in. The VHP also gave a call to involve all religious institutions, resident welfare associations, trade councils and Panchayat Samitis in this job.

Also Read: Centre announces Rs 1.70 lakh crore welfare package for poor to face coronavirus outbreak

In Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren from JMM tweaked rules and ensured seven kilogram rice supply to even those who had just applied for ration cards but had not got them. In Bihar MLAs and MPs from Lalu Prasad’s RJD as well as Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP contributed liberally from their respective funds to fight the deadly disease.

The ruling BJP also sought to put in a mechanism to link up various community kitchens, which can serve a minimum of 1,000 people per day, across the country to ensure that the urban poor, migrant workers and construction labourers, daily wage earners and those working in the unorganised sector get food.  

Also Read: Pragmatic Sonia Gandhi backs PM Modi in fight against COVID-19

Actor-politician Pawan Kalyan from Jana Sena Party donated Rs.50 Lakhs each to both AP and Telangana CM relief funds to fight against COVID-19 pandemic while Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly vowed to donate Rs 50 lakh worth rice to the underprivileged amid lockdown. Kalyan had earlier announced to donate Rs one crore for Prime Minister Relief Fund to fight COVID 19.

Inspired by Pawan Kalyan, another Telugu star Ram Charan donated Rs 70 lakh to the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to fight the disease. Another acclaimed Telugu actor Mahesh Babu donated Rs one crore to Chief Minister Relief Fund of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

State Information Commission of Haryana Arun Sangwan and his wife Shalini Singh not only contributed Rs 5 lakh to Haryana Corona Relief Fund but also distributed food kits among the poor and the destitute. 

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