Coronavirus FAQs: If I’m in Lockdown, How Can I Buy Groceries?

All you need to know about how to get groceries in different states under the lockdown, both online and offline.

2 min read
An employee scans a package for an order at a Big Basket (an online groceries firm) warehouse on the outskirts of Mumbai.

Even before Prime Minister Modi finished announcing a nationwide three-week lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19, people started going to their nearby grocery stores to stock up. And ever since, this has been the foremost question on people’s mind – will I be able to buy milk, vegetables and groceries in the lockdown?

Firstly, don’t worry. It’s been specified that throughout the lockdown, essential services like milk, vegetables and groceries will be allowed to ply. However, different states have come out with notifications on when grocery stores will be open, and there is still some confusion about whether it’s possible to order groceries online.

Here’s everything you need to know.

How Can I Get My Groceries During Lockdown?

  • If you’re living in Delhi, you can go out to your nearby grocery shop or kirana store. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has announced that all grocery stores in Delhi will remain open 24x7.
  • In Uttar Pradesh, home delivery is your best option. Around 10,000 vehicles and 12,000 vendors have been approved in UP for home delivery of vegetables and medicines.
  • Home deliveries of milk, vegetables and other essentials has also started in Chandigarh, where curfew passes have been given to vegetable and grocery vendors.
  • In Srinagar, home delivery of PDS ration to 1.6 lakh families will start from 28 March.
  • In Lucknow, the Police Commissioner has said that shops selling essential commodities will be open from 6 am to 11 pm.
  • In Maharashtra, the government has specified that those selling fruits, vegetables and groceries will be exempt from the lockdown.
  • In Karnataka, the Director-General of Police has said that grocery stores and supermarkets can remain open 24x7.
  • In Jalandhar, Punjab, the city has been divided into sectors, and the administration is ensuring home deliveries of milk, vegetables and other groceries.

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Can I Order My Groceries Online?

Good news! E-commerce companies like BigBasket and Grofers are now operational in some parts of the country, after they were assured of the safety of their delivery executives by state governments.

  • Big Basket is back in business in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Indore, Mumbai, Mysore, Noida, Surat, Vadodara. They are not operating in Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Patna currently.
  • Grofers is delivering in Delhi, Gurugram, Faridabad, Lucknow, Kanpur and Bengaluru.

My Elderly Parents Are in India, and I Am Not. How Can I Get Groceries to Them?

People in cities like Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru have formed volunteer groups who deliver milk, vegetables and medicines to the elderly who are unable to step out of their homes. Several NGOs have also started helplines specifically aimed at senior citizens who may be struggling for essentials under the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • In Mumbai, an NGO called “Project Mumbai” is providing groceries, and medicines to senior citizens. You can contact them here.
  • In Ahmedabad, Swara Smile Foundation is delivering food. You can call the helpline numbers here.
  • In Chennai, Bhoomika Trust has a pan-city helpline number for senior citizens here.
  • In Hyderabad, an app called “One Big Family” has launched a free helpline to offer free delivery services to senior citizens.
  • In Kolkata, the police has intervened by instituting a senior citizen helpline.
  • In Chandigarh, a special helpline has been instituted for home delivery of medicines to senior citizens.

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