Kolkata, March 28 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to feed 30 lakh poor families in West Bengal daily during the lockdown, called to prevent spread of coronavirus.
“During the lockdown, we will provide two meals a day to at least 30 lakh poor families. We will do it in coordination with the administration,” Bengal BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu told IANS, here on Saturday.
The initiative is part of the party’s nationwide programme following BJP chief J.P. Nadda’s directive to leaders and workers to ensure poor people didn’t go hungry.
“Due to the lockdown, a large number of people, particularly daily wagers, are in crisis. We have decided that each well-off party leader and worker up to the booth level will take the responsibility of minimum of five families,” said Basu.
Of the 78,000 booths in the state, the party has identified 70,000 for the programme and the arrangement will continue till the end of lockdown.
Basu said in case of some booths, 14-15 families might also come under the programme. “This will translate to around 30 lakh people,” he said.
“The party will not spend anything from its budget, nor will it collect funds from the public. The arrangements will be funded entirely through individual efforts of leaders and workers who have the means,” said Basu.
He himself has decided to feed 11 poor families in the in Habra-Maslandpur area of the North 24 Parganas district and has asked rice, pulse and potato suppliers to provide the commodities to the 11 families.
“I have told them to hand over certain quantities of these commodities every week to them. I will foot the bill,” he said.
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said the party was drawing up a list of leaders and workers who would sponsor the campaign. The names of people who will be responsible for the programme’s execution at the state, district and mandal levels are being finalised.
“From Thursday, many of our leaders have spontaneously started making arrangements for feeding the people in their respective areas. They are visiting the homes of the needy with the ration.
“At the same time, our leaders are cautious to prevent gatherings. They are going in ones and twos to the houses of the poor, taking all precautions, like wearing masks and carrying hand sanitisers. It will help ward off any chance of spreading the infection,” Ghosh said.