Distributes food packets to underprivileged and needy persons affected by COVID 19
With the 21 days lockdown declared by Prime Minister to contain the
spread of the deadly Coronavirus entering the sixth day, various sections of
underprivileged people such as marginally poor, daily wagers, labourers are
finding it difficult to meet the both ends.
In this dire situation, Western Railway’s staff from various departments such as the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Commercial staff and the IRCTC have voluntarily come forward with a helping hand and has displayed their humane side by being ‘Good Samaritans’ to such persons affected by the lockdown by providing free food packages, groceries or any other such essential items required by them.
Alok Kansal – General Manager of Western Rly is in all praise for these employees who have gone beyond their call of duty and has shown such exemplary act of kindness in such testing times. However, he has also given a word of caution to take all preventive & necessary safety and hygiene levels to be practiced to ensure zero error.
According to a press release issued by WR CPRO Ravinder Bhakar, in the wake of the pandemic Corona virus lockdown in our country, W. Rly alongwith IRCTC have extended all required help to reach out to as many needful people and serve them by providing with food packets, ration packages and other essentials. Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has geared up its base kitchens in Mumbai and Ahmedabad stations for preparing distress meals in huge quantities for the poor and needy people in and around Mumbai and Ahmedabad.
Around 1500 Meals comprising of Dal Khichdi Pickle were prepared by IRCTC on the 29th of March, 2020 from their Base Kitchen at Mumbai Central for distribution whereas on 30th March, 2020, 2880 & 1037 meals were prepared at Mumbai & Ahmedabad Base Kitchens respectively for distribution. These simple and hygienic meals were made available for onward distribution through the channels of NGOs and Railway’s Commercial staff and RPF personnel to the needy/destitute /poor & stranded amidst this Covid-19 epidemic.
Major NGOs to whom Khichdi meals were supplied from Mumbai Base Kitchen are Salaam Mumbai, Robinhood Army, New Future Foundation, Mariyam Trust & Nanhi Kali. Mariam Trust distributed Khichdi in Mariamanagar located at Worli, Mumbai whereas, Nanhi Kali distributed the meals outside KEM hospital, Tata hospital & also in slums around there. The food prepared by Ahmedabad Base Kitchen was distributed by the RPF & commercial staff to around 600 needy persons.
This socially responsible gesture on part of IRCTC shall continue in the forthcoming days also and the numbers are expected to rise. Several NGOs and Trust Funds have also extended their generosity to help the needy across the Western Railway jurisdiction. At Vasai Road, the Gurdwara Prabandhan Commitee distributed Khichdi to around 50 to 60 needy people including HouseKeeping Staffs.
W.Rly’s RPF feeds thousands of poor people in the wake of COVID 19 lockdown people are not finding work and facing financial crunch. Poor people are worst hit by the pandemic. In a pan division program, Railway Protection Force, Mumbai Division, Western Railway provided food to 2765 poor people on 30.03.2020. RPF has geared up and working tirelessly in this tough time not only to protect Railway assets including thousands of coaches and engines stabled throughout the division but also working wholeheartedly to feed poor people as a humanitarian gesture. RPF is distributing meal prepared at IRCTC base kitchen at Mumbai Central station.
Apart from this RPF is coordinating with several NGOs and social workers to feed those who are in dire need of nutrition. IRCTC has started it’s base kitchen in Mumbai Central and preparing distress meals in huge quantities for the poor and needy people in Mumbai. Several NGOs including Salaam Mumbai, Future India Foundation, Gujrati Samaj, Yuva Prerna and Robinhood Army were roped in.
This socially responsible gesture on part of RPF in coordination with other agencies shall continue in the forthcoming days also and the numbers of meals distributed are expected to rise. Due precautions, usage of PPE and social distancing norms were strictly observed while distributing the food. The people were also briefed regarding the do’s and don’ts of COVID 19. It is RPF’s constant endeavour to provide selfless service to the people in this hour of need.
Bhakar stated that few railwaymen have also voluntarily come forward to serve such needful persons in their vicinity by spending from their own pockets. One such glaring example is J.K. Sumara working as Dy. CTI at Bhavnagar station of W.Rly. He has taken a great inititiave in helping licensed porters who are now without any source of income and distributed provisions & other essential goods worth ₹10,000 to the Licensed Porters at Bhavnagar station. Each care package was worth Rs. 550 and each porter was also helped with a cash amount of Rs. 500 as well.
At Botad station, few railway employees alongwith the locals, distributed Roti, sabji and buttermilk to some 100 odd needy people and has assured that this noble deed will be continued. At Nagda station of Ratlam division, RPF personnel distributed food packets in the nearby slum areas which comprised of daily wage labourers. The Railways as well as the railway employees are extending their help to the needy in the event of a national crisis, even though there is a complete lockdown of passenger ferrying trains. On the other hand, Railways is also running goods train, milk van trains and now even parcel van trains to help transport essential commodities to different parts of the country. This will ensure to keep the supply of basic essential commodities to the citizens of the country.