For next 2 months, Delhi govt will provide free ration to ration cardholders: Kejriwal


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Delhi government will provide free ration to all the 72 lakh ration cardholders of the Capital for the next two months.

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He also announced that the Delhi government will provide financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to every auto and taxi driver of Delhi. The government had done the same last time, helping 1.56 lakh such drivers. Kejriwal said one must not consider that the lockdown will last for the next two months based on the free ration decision, but that the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID.

The CM expressed hope that the crisis will end soon. He spoke of the government’s announcement for the labourers, whereby Rs 5000 would be deposited in their account, and any labourer who fell ill and whose RT-PCR reports were positive, would be helped by the government.

Kejriwal appealed to all the political parties to rise above political affiliations and help people irrespective of their class, caste or religion. He said that every citizen should stand with each other and try their best to help in getting hospital beds, oxygen or by providing food or extending financial help to the needy, for this was the only way India could overcome the current crisis.

Addressing a digital press conference on Tuesday, Kejriwal said: “To deal with coronavirus, we have imposed a lockdown in Delhi, and this was essential to curtail the number of cases and to break the chain. We’re well aware that during any lockdown creates a financial crisis for people, and especially for the poor. It hits the daily wage workers particularly hard, following which it becomes difficult for them to run their homes.”

He added: “Last week we made a special announcement for the labourers that we will deposit Rs 5000 each in their accounts and this has been already sent to their accounts. We’d also announced that we’d help those labourers falling ill and whose RT-PCR reports turn out positive.”

Kejriwal added: “Today we have taken two major decisions. Firstly, free ration will be provided to the around 72 lakh ration cardholders of Delhi for the next two months. Having said that, one should not assume that the lockdown will continue for the next two months. Let us hope that the cases begin to decrease and the lockdown is lifted early. However, to help the poor through a financial crisis, the government has decided that for the next two months, free ration will be distributed to all ration card holders.”

Kejriwal said: “All autorickshaw drivers and taxi drivers too, are seeing some tough times, as their homes would run on their daily wages. Some do not have much savings too, and with the lockdown of the past few weeks, their daily earnings have depleted completely. Just as last year, when the lockdown was imposed, all of Delhi’s auto drivers and taxi drivers were given Rs 5000 each by the Delhi Government. Today, we’re extending the same financial assistance to all the auto drivers and taxi drivers to help them during this financial adversity.”

Kejriwal said: “I will not say that this will help them with what they were earning earlier on an everyday basis, but I hope this offers some help. Last year also, we provided assistance to approximately 1,56,000 such drivers and this time too, the Delhi Government will provide support.”

He said: “We are undergoing a very difficult period and the second wave has been extremely dangerous. All of us are witnessing that there is so much sadness everywhere, people are troubled and are falling ill all across. It is my earnest request that this is the time to help each other, this is the time to become a good human being. Everyone, irrespective of the party they belong to, be it this party or the BJP or the Congress or the Aam Aadmi Party, everyone should together help each other. This is not the time for politics; everyone should work together. Be it any religion, or any caste, this disease does not discriminate. Be it the rich or the poor, everyone should help each other.”

Kejriwal said: “If someone is ill then one can offer help by admitting them to a hospital. If someone is not getting a bed, help them find a bed. Even the smallest piece of information can be helpful. Aid can be given by providing oxygen cylinders. If an entire family has fallen ill, assistance can be provided by giving them food; food can be sent to their homes. A lot of people during this time are unable to earn their daily bread and butter, help can be provided to them by financial assistance so that they can run their houses. Aid can be provided in various ways. It is my appeal to help everyone, assist each other in good faith — only then can the country prosper. If we fight against this together, I’m certain we will be able to win over coronavirus.”