New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) In the wake of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to cut the chain of transmission of novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the Indian Railways has served food to over 1.4 lakh people since March 28.
The national transporter, which suspended all passenger, mail and express train services from March 24 to April 14, said that railways continues to provide cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner to needy people through base kitchens of IRCTC with the help of Railway Protection Force (RPF), Government Rail Police (GRP), commercial departments of zones, state governments and NGOs.
It said that working as a team, IRCTC along with RPF and other railway departments in various zones is supplying cooked food to the needy people.
"While delivering food to the needy persons, social distancing and hygiene is being observed. General Managers or Divisional Rail Managers (DRMs) of concerned zone and division are also in continuous touch with IRCTC officials to enhance the outreach of these efforts of IRCTC even beyond the station vicinity to cater to the food requirements of the needy people in areas surrounding the railway stations with the help of district administrations and NGOs," it said.
The national transporter said that from its kitchens in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hubli, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, Bhusaval, Howrah, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Katihar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, Balasore, Vijaywada, Khurda, Kaadpali, Tiruchirapalli, Dhanbad, Guwahati and Samastipur spread over various zones, IRCTC has so far distributed about 102,937 meals to the poor and the needy from March 28 onwards.
The Railways distributed 2700 meals on March 28, 11,530 meals on March 29, 20,487 meals on March 30, 30,850 meals on March 31 and 37370 meals on April 1 at 23 different locations.
It said that the RPF has been involved in a big way in distributing food to the needy people.
On March 28, 5,419 needy persons were provided food by RPF at over 74 locations and in addition to food prepared in IRCTC kitchens, food for 2,719 persons was sourced from internal resources of RPF.
The railways also said that 21,568 needy persons were provided food by RPF over 146 locations on March 29, in addition to food prepared in IRCTC kitchens, food for 8,790 persons was sourced from internal resources of RPF while food for 4,150 persons was distributed in association with NGOs.
Similarly on March 30, 30741 needy persons were provided food by RPF over 186 locations, in addition to food prepared in IRCTC kitchens, food for 12,453 persons was sourced from internal resources of RPF while food for 3,746 persons was distributed in association with NGOs.
On March 31, the RPF served food to 38,045 people by RPF at over 196 locations. "In addition to food prepared in IRCTC kitchens, food for 14,633 persons was sourced from internal resources of RPF while food for 4,072 persons was distributed in association with NGOs," it said.
Earliernin the day, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had also directed the officials of the nation transporter to reach out to needy people with food and other assistance to the best of their human abilities and resources.