COVID-19: Indira Canteens in Karnataka to Serve Free Food to Needy
The number of food packets per Indira Canteen will depend on how many canteens there are in each Assembly segment.
Indira Canteens in Karnataka, which were earlier providing subsidised food, are now giving packed dishes for free to people from low income backgrounds, including daily-wage workers and the poor, who have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak. People can either go to the Indira Canteens or have the food delivered to their homes.
According to the Minister for Medical Education, Dr K Sudhakar, people can call the Health Department’s helpline numbers and they will be directed to the nearest Indira Canteen. If they are unable to go to the canteen, the food packets will be delivered to them.
He said that the civil defence personnel and the volunteers who have signed up, will deliver the meals to people’s homes.
Food will be prepared in 16 centralised kitchens in Bangalore and divided into individual packets. The district administrations and local bodies of other municipal corporations will have to decide how many kitchens will be open. These packets will be transported to the various Indira Canteens.
People going to the canteens will have to maintain 1m distance between each other. The food packets will be delivered by personnel who will be wearing gloves and a mask. Hand wash facilities will be provided at every canteen.
Breakfast will be served between 7.30 and 10 am. The timings for lunch are 12.30- 3 pm and dinner will be served between 7.30 and 9 pm. According to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the number of food packets per Indira Canteen will depend upon how many of them are present in each Assembly constituency. “It will also depend on the average footfall at each canteen. We have the data for this,” a BBMP official said.
In case the packets are over, people can call the helpline and give them their home address. “This free food delivery is only for people from low income backgrounds and the poor,” the BBMP official added.
However, free ration is also being provided for Below Poverty Line (BPL) cardholders at the designated public distribution centres. Several migrant labourers from North Karnataka have been walking home due to lack of groceries and food. BBMP officials said that this move is to ensure that people stay at home. India will be under lockdown until 14 April. Only essential services are currently available and people are not allowed to step out of their homes except for buying essentials.
(This article has been republished in an arrangement with The News Minute)
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