Guj to provide food items free to 60 lakh poor families

COVID-19: Gujarat govt to provide food items free to 60 lakh poor families

A volunteer of the Humf NGO adjusts a free facemask to a motorist during a facemaks donation campaing amid concerns over the spead of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Ahmedabad on March 17, 2020. Credit: AFP Photo

The Gujarat government will provide food items like wheat, rice, pulses and sugar free of cost to around 60 lakh ration card holding families through fair price shops starting April 1, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said on Wednesday.

The scheme is to ensure that the poor, who depend on daily wages for livelihood, are not affected by the 21-day nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak and do not have to purchase food items for the month of April, he said after a meeting in Gandhinagar.

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"With the entire country under lockdown, Gujarat has made an important decision, that poor families - around 60 lakh families, or 3.25 crore individuals -- holding ration cards, will get food items, including 3.5 kg wheat and 1.5 kg rice per person, and 1 kg of pulses, sugar and salt per family free of cost from April 1," Rupani said.

The chief minister said his government is concerned aboutthe state's poor families, and will continue to take decisions to ensure they do not face hurdles during the lockdown.

"With works closed for 21 days, poor families earning daily livelihood face great problems. Our sensitive government understands this, and we will take more such decisions in future so such people do not face face much hurdle," he said.

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

Rupani also requested people to stay indoors for 21 days.

Gujarat has so far reported 38 cases of coronavirus and one death due to COVID-19.

The entire state is under lockdown.