New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The Delhi government has provided grain to over 300,000 poor, who lacked ration cards, to help them tide over the lockdown, according to the Food and Supply Department here on Thursday.
The distribution was started on April 7, in addition to the steps taken to provide ration to the PDS (public distribution system) cardholders.
"In the prevailing situation, the department is making all efforts to meet the food needs of the poor and the vulnerable in the city," it said.
In Delhi, the PDS caters to 17.50 lakh households, comprising 71,08,074 people including 68,609 Antyodaya Anna Yojana households with 2,78,926 people.
"The monthly quota of grain under the National Food Security Act, 2013 is 5 kg (4 kg wheat and 1 kg rice). However, amid lockdown the Delhi government has provided 7.5 kg grain (6 kg wheat and 1.5 kg rice) free of cost," it said.
The distribution of April grain was advanced to March 28 through the network of over 2,000 fair price shops (FPSs).
Claiming that most of the allocation has been distributed, the department said, it would provide much-needed relief to the people, particularly in the disadvantaged and vulnerable sections.
To reach out to the people not be covered by the PDS, the city government is providing for free 4 kg wheat and 1 kg rice to the needy. "The initiative is based on self-selection criteria where any person in need of food can apply for e-coupons. The only document required is an Aadhaar number, issued from anywhere in the country," the department said.
To optimally use available resources, 374 schools of the Directorate of Education, and the municipal corporations have been designated as distribution centres for the relief initiative.
To inform and educate the targeted beneficiaries, multimedia publicity through SMS, radio jingles, flex banners has been launched.
"Despite severe shortages of labourers, trucks and other logistical constraints due to the lockdown, the department is striving to distribute grain to the beneficiaries," it said.
The Civil Defence Volunteers have been deployed at the FPSs to ensure social distancing and orderly distribution.
The helpline number '1967' and grievance redressal portals could be approched for redressal of grievances, if any, about distribution of grain, it said.