800 million Indians got free food rations during pandemic: PM Modi

Iterating that his government gave topmost priority to the poor whose lives were destabilised during the coronavirus crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said an estimated 800 million Indians have got free food rations so far during the ongoing pandemic

Aug 07, 2021
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Iterating that his government gave topmost priority to the poor whose lives were destabilised during the coronavirus crisis, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said an estimated 800 million Indians have got free food rations so far during the ongoing pandemic.

Describing the coronavirus pandemic as the biggest disaster faced by humanity in the last 100 years, Modi said people should continue to wear masks, sanitize hands and maintain social distancing to check the spread of the virus, NDTV reported.

"India gave the first priority to the poor in its strategy to combat the crisis due to coronavirus. Be it Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (Prime Minister’s Food Program for the welfare of the poor) or Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana (Prime Minister’s Employment Program) we thought about food and employment of the poor from day one itself," he said.

Modi was participating in a video interaction with beneficiaries of government programs from Madhya Pradesh.

The Covid-19 pandemic that saw the country going into prolonged lockdowns, has wreaked havoc with the economy, particularly in terms of causing job losses.
Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy CEO Mahesh Vyas recently said more than 10 million people lost their jobs because of the second wave of coronavirus which hit the country in April-May. About 97 percent of household incomes have declined since the beginning of the pandemic last year, he added.

Stressing his government's 'vocal for local' initiative, Modi said Indians should buy locally made handicraft items during the festival season to encourage those working in this sector.

(SAM)