New Delhi, Apr 9: Indian Railway has so far distributed more than 8.5 lakh meals to the poor and the needy since March 28 with the active cooperation of IRCTC base kitchens, an official release here said on Thursday. Approximately 6 lakh needy persons have been distributed food by RPF over 313 locations till April 8.
Meal distribution by Indian Railways is in progress today also to close to 1 lakh persons. Indian Railways, which started to provide cooked meals to needy people after the lockdown due to COVID-19, continues to provide bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and contribution of NGOs, in keeping with its social service commitment. More than 6 lakh cooked meals have been provided by IRCTC and about two lakh meals have been provided by RPF from its own resources.
Nearly 1.5 lakh meals have been donated by NGOs working with the Railway organisations. The Railway Protection Force has played a major role in the food distribution to needy people prepared by IRCTC, NGOs and from its own kitchens. Starting with distribution of food to 5,419 needy persons over 74 locations on March 28, the number has grown daily. IRCTC has also deposited Rs 20 crore in PMCARES fund – Rs 1.5 crore from CSR fund of 2019- 20, Rs 6.5 crore from CSR fund of 2020-21 and Rs 12 crore donation.
The food distribution is being done to the poor, destitutes, beggars, children, coolies, migrant labourers, stranded persons and those coming in search of food at and near the railway stations, and even at some distance away from the railway stations. This is in keeping with the suggestion of Railways and Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal that Railways should widen its outreach and go beyond the proximities of railways stations in consultation with district authorities and NGOs in providing food and other assistance to the needy people.(UNI)