Winning Bizness Bureau
Even as Indian government has put country under complete lockdown to break the chain of deadly Covid-19 disease till April 14 and financial arrangements of Rs 1.7 lakh crore have been announced today for crores of lower class people of the country, the burning question looming large that whether the economic package will be implemented in prescribed way to prevent homeless from dying due to hunger before deadly virus kill them.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Anna Yojana, which is a part of the package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 26th March, 80 crore poor people will get 5 kg per person rice/wheat each month for the next 3 months in addition to 5kg of rice/wheat that they already get. Besides, one kg of pulse according to regional preference for each household.
The biggest ever package announced by the Union government, aims to help migrant workers, labourers, poor and agricultural workers dealing with the lockdown imposed to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
The Corona virus outbreak is very close to entering in its third deadly phase and homeless people have no stock of food even as the members of civil society and NGOs, who are feeding them in time of crisis, are running out of supply chain of food owing to lockdown.
According to an estimate of Family & Welfare Ministry, there could be 20 lakh urban and rural homeless collectively.
Experts of the field are of the view that the success of economic package, would solely depend on smoother, quicker and effective implementation and the key role to be played by the respective state governments.
Brijesh Arya, a Mumbai-based activist and founder of an NGO Pehchan and also the member of Shelter Monitoring Committee of Maharashtra Government, told Winning Business that the package announced by the union government should be implemented effectively on war footing.
“Few good Samaritans are doing their job by feeding homeless, but they have limited supply. We hope that economic package will help these homeless from dying from hunger. We people are ready to help government finding them (homeless). For the time being, those can be shifted in Municipal schools or unsold flats of the buildings which are in abundant here,” Arya added.
Apart from Union government, several state governments, including Uttar Pradesh in the north, Kerala in the south and the national capital Delhi, have promised direct cash transfers into the accounts of daily workers.
Floyd Sabastine Miranda, the Yuvasena Coordinator of Andheri East Assembly said that Maharashtra government’s machinary are already working hard to reach out all the needy people of the city and state.
“Essential passes for essential services are being provided by police. We have requested all shops providing essential services and commodities, to reach out to their local police station for these passes, to ensure hassle-free commute and sale. Our aim to help everyone in this hour of crisis,” Miranda told Winning Business.
Senior journalist Ram Kishore Trivedi opined that government should have also announced some immediate relief to middle and lower-middle class also who have been hit hard due to complete lockdown and also demanded to set up a state-wise task force to address all the sections of the society.
“There are large number of people who have taken loan for car, home, TV, Laptops, Mobiles and also under several schemes announced under Modi government. Therefore at least the moratorium for three months should be applied,” Trivedi said adding that waiver in paying all bills also essential.