As the unprecedented nation-wide lockdown to contain COVID-19 left many daily wage workers jobless, the Gujarat government on Wednesday announced that it 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.
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.
“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,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.
The chief minister said his government is concerned about the 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.
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.
In a similar move, many states have made arrangements for availability of essential items especially for poor workers as the deadly Coronavirus spreads across the country which has infected over 600 people.