Free food at Night Shelters and Hunger relief centers

Lakhs of daily workers and labourers lost their jobs due to the pandemic lockdown and had no means to feed their families. The AAP Delhi government opened Hunger Relief Centres to ensure that such people got 2 full meals a day. 

By 1st April 2020, these Hunger Relief Centres were supplying cooked meals twice a day to 12 lakh people at 2,800 locations

  • The Delhi government first started provided free lunch and dinner at its night shelters. By Mar 28th 2020, 20000 people were being provided food there daily but the numbers were rising rapidly so Hunger Relief Centres were set up across the city. 
  • By March 28th 2020, over 500 Hunger Relief Centres had been set up in government schools across the city to feed 4 lakh people.

(Source: Times of India – link)

This was in addition to several locations identified by all district magistrates in their respective areas where food was being distributed at the doorsteps of the needy.

Hunger Relief camp set up in a Government school to distribute food:

  • To help people locate the Hunger Relief Centres and the Home Shelters easily, the AAP government used Google Maps to highlight them. The Maps showed two kinds of centres — shelter home that was represented in red icon with spoon and fork, and the second one in blue with beverage icon to indicate food being provided to the needy.

(Source: Tweet by AamAadmiParty – link)

Free Ration Scheme for PDS beneficiaries

  • During the CoVID 2nd wave too, free rations were provided. On 4th May 2021, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal announced that free rations would be provided to the 72 lakh beneficiaries
  • On 6th Nov 2021, the AAP government extended the free ration scheme by another 6 months upto 31st May 2022. This will benefit 72.77 lakh people.
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal also wrote to the PM, requesting him to extend the Centre’s free ration scheme under “Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana” for another 6 months.

Free Ration Scheme for non-PDS category 

Migrant workers who are registered under PDS in their home towns would not have been able to avail of the AAP government’s free ration scheme in Delhi. Therefore, the Delhi government came up with a special coronavirus relief initiative, “Mukhya Mantri Corona Sahayata Yojana“, under which 5 kg of food grains (4 kg wheat and 1 kg rice) per beneficiary was given free of cost to individuals under the non-PDS category. 

  • The dry rations were distributed through approximately 550 designated centres across Delhi from April 7, 2020.
  • The Delhi government uses a simple web form on which anyone with a valid Aadhar card is eligible to apply for non-PDS ration.
  • Apart from free ration, the government also distributed a ‘special kit’ having all the daily essentials such as soap, cooking oil, spices, sugar, tea etc.
  • According to the Delhi Economic Survey, free rations were distributed against 69.60 lakh e-coupons to individuals under non-PDS category during the lockdown in April and May 2020.

Financial Aid to Construction workers and Labourers

  • The AAP government transferred Rs 5000 each to the accounts of over 35,000 registered construction workers and labourers in March 2020 as their livelihoods were affected by the lockdown.
  • This first round of financial assistance to construction workers cost the Delhi government around ₹20 crore.
  • In early-May 2020, the AAP government decided to transfer another Rs 5000 each into the bank accounts of construction workers to tide them over the extended lockdown in Delhi.

Financial aid to auto, taxi and e-rickshaw drivers

  • In April 2020, the Delhi government provided financial assistance of Rs 5,000 to each of the drivers of public transport vehicles including autos, taxis and e-rickshaws in the city who had been rendered idle due to lockdown. Financial help of Rs 78 crore was given to more than 1.56 lakh drivers.
  • During the 2nd wave too, in May 2021, Rs 5000 was directly transferred to their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.

All individuals holding public service badge (drivers) of para-transit vehicles and permit holders of para transit public service vehicles were eligible for the assistance. Apart from taxi, auto rickshaws and e-rickshaws, a total of 2.8 lakh PSV badge holders and 1.9 lakh permit holders of phatphat sewa, eco-friendly sewa, gramin sewa, maxi cabs etc. were also eligible to apply for the assistance. 

On 24th May 2021, the government had cleared 1,55,301 cases for financial assistance.

  • A total of Rs 150 crore was transferred to 1.5 lakh auto drivers during this period.

Doubling of pension

The Delhi government doubled the pension amounts for senior citizens, widows and differently-abled in March 2020.

Ex-gratia to families of Corona Warriors

The Delhi government gives ₹1 crore ex-gratia to the next of kin of “Covid warriors” who died after getting infected in the line of duty. 

Financial Aid to families of all those who succumbed to Covid

The Delhi government under the “Mukhyamantri COVID-19 Parivaar Aarthik Sahayata Yojana” provides a one-time ex-gratia payment of Rs 50,000 to families who have lost their loved ones due to COVID-19. It also provides for a monthly assistance scheme (pension) of Rs 2,500 per month if the deceased was the family’s sole breadwinner. 

  • By 7th Sep 2021, the AAP Delhi government had received around 10,000 financial aid applications. It had approved 3,700 applications and the pending applications of 6,300 were under review as of that date. 
  • Even in the case of “Not Covid” deaths, if the death happened within 1 month of testing positive for Covid, the family is eligible under the scheme. 

(Source: Tweet from DelhiGovDigital – link)

  • By 14th Dec 2021, of the total 25,100 applications received, 21,235 had been provided financial assistance of ₹50,000 each, amounting to more than 110 crore, and approximately 9,600 were getting monthly pension of ₹2500.

Additional aid

  • The Delhi government has also paid an additional Rs 50,000 each, totalling ₹93.8 crore, to the kin of 18,766 Covid-19 victims as a one-time ex-gratia payment. These 18,766 people had already received ₹50,000 as ex-gratia under the Mukhyamantri Covid-19 Pariwar Aarthik Sahayata Yojna.

(Source: Hindustan Times – link)

Financial Assistance to Children orphaned due to Covid

The Delhi government is bearing the cost of raising and educating children who have lost their parents to COVID19.

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OT Editor