Lockdown: PM Modi, Kejriwal call for people's support

Feeding the poor major challenge: Narendra Modi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal call for people's support for lockdown

Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well his arch-rival Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday invoked Hindi festival ‘Navratri' to urge people feed the poor.

As feeding the millions of the poor and the migrant is set to become a daunting challenge following the three-week-long complete nationwide lockdown kicking in from today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well his arch-rival Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday invoked Hindi festival ‘Navratri' to urge people feed the poor.

“Defeat corona(virus) by showing Karuna (empathy) to the poor. The festival of Navratri begins today. On the first day of Navratri mother Shailputri is worshipped, who is Let every resourceful person take a vow to feed at least nine families each day for the next 21 days. This will be the true observance of Navratri and real worship of the Mother,” Modi said interacting with people in his Parliamentary seat Varanasi through video conferencing.

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Invoking the imagery of the great Mahabharata war, he said that while that was war was won in 18 days, the battle against coronavirus will be won in 21 days. The Prime Minister was speaking on the first day of the 21-day complete nationwide lockdown that has come into effect from Wednesday.

 Addressing a press conference separately, AAP’s Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also asked people to carry work this work of “punya” of ensuring that nobody sleeps hungry on this Navratri. “Ye Punya Ka Kaam, Yahi sachchi deshbhakti hai,” he said as he underlined the massive challenge even when reeling out the measures being taken by the government to provide food and foodgrain to people in Delhi, where there is a huge population of migrants.

With the three-week lockdown coming into effect from Wednesday, the plight of migrant labours trapped in various cities,  various state governments and politicians are also chipping in for support.

Read: PM announces 21-day lockdown: Here’s what Narendra Modi urged India to do

The challenge is, however, mammoth with India’s teeming millions depending on their daily earnings to earn two square meals daily. There are already reports of “loot” of food grains being distributed by the government machinery in Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

In Bihar, former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav sought to invoke Bihari pride and save the state by becoming Bihar Rakshak. As news of migrant labours of Bihar battling odds in Delhi surfaced, he urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to ensure food and accommodation to them in Bihar Bhavan.

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

Migration is a huge issue in Bihar and people from the state travel all across the country in search of livelihood most of whom work as daily wagers.

In the tribal state of Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel announced to give rice free of cost to the poor in April and May and issued orders to the district collectors to ensure this

In another tribal state with massive migration issue Jharkhand, which had in past also recorded hunger deaths, Chief Minister Hemant Soren has directed for taking any homeless destitute, person not having food or anyone sick to the nearest food distribution service run by administration.