New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Indian Railways has fed over 20.5 lakh people amid the nationwide lockdown imposed to curb the coronavirus infection.
“Service in Times of Covid-19: Following Prime Minister Narendra Modiji's principles, Railways has taken steps to ensure welfare and good health of the people. Safeguarding the needy, Railways has distributed more than 20 lakh free meals across India during lockdown,” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted on Monday.
In a statement, the Railway Ministry said the national transporter's employees from various wings were working tirelessly since March 28 to provide cooked meals to the needy.
“Railways has been providing bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and contribution of NGOs. While delivering the food to the needy, social distancing as well as hygiene is being observed,” it said.
The ministry said distribution of food was being done with the help of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Railway Police (GRP), commercial departments of various zones, state governments, district administrations and NGOs, even beyond the station vicinity.
“With the active cooperation of IRCTC base kitchens in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hubli, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, Bhusaval, Howrah, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Katihar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, Balasore, Vijaywada, Khurda, Katpadi, Tiruchirapalli, Dhanbad, Guwahati, Samastipur, Prayagraj, Itarsi, Vishakhapatnam, Chengalpatu, Pune, Hajipur, Raipur and Tatanagar, spread over Northern, Western, Eastern, Southern and South Central zones, over 20.5 lakh cooked meals have been distributed till April 20,” it said.
Of these, around 11.6 lakh cooked meals were provided by IRCTC, 3.6 lakh by the RPF from its own resources, 1.5 lakh by commercial and other departments, and nearly 3.8 lakh were donated by NGOs working with the Railway organisations, it said.
Hailing the RPF's role, the Ministry said it played a major role in the distribution of food prepared by IRCTC, other railway departments, NGOs and from its own kitchens.
“Presently, around 50,000 people are being provided meals a day by the RPF across 300 locations,” it said.