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Radhika Parashar. Sputnik International
India has witnessed a record number of COVID cases daily in the past two weeks, forcing several states, including Delhi and Mumbai, to impose blockades.
On Friday, Narendra Modi’s government announced that five kilograms of free grains will be provided to around 800 million people over the next two months.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PM-GKAY), a social assistance program for the poor, the government will spend over $ 3.4 billion on the initiative in May and June.
The grain distributed will include wheat, rice and lentils.
The move by India’s central government is meant to reassure migrant workers that they aren’t being overlooked amid growing COVID cases across the country, as millions of people find themselves unemployed as a result of the pandemic choking the economy.
Despite several politicians – including Modi and Delhi boss Arvind Kejriwal – appealing to migrants to stay calm, scores poured into the train and bus station in an attempt to secure a ticket home, fearing a national bloc.
आनंद विहार फुटओवर ब्रिज की सीढ़ियों पर पैर रखने के लिए जगह नहीं है। लॉकडाउन के ऐलान के बाद बड़ी संख्या में पलायन शुरू हो गया है। pic.twitter.com/099ANjrivU
– Javed Mansoori (@ mjaved819) April 19, 2021
Last year, the federal government ran the PM-GKAY program from June to November as the country’s economy was slowly starting to recover after a national lockdown was imposed in March to curb the spread of the virus.