Prime Minister Narendra Modi took one of the crucial steps to fight the battle of Coronavirus. His appeal to citizens to stay at home will limit the spread of coronavirus. From shops to malls, parks to trains; every service is at a standstill. All the public places are being sanitized by a special team of workers dressed in protective clothing. A regime is going on to clean offices, hospitals, shops, and restaurants. However, Indian Railways and its subsidiary (IRCTC) are putting all its effort to minimize the panic of the public through various measures. From providing a full refund on booked tickets to maintaining the supply of essential goods via Goods train; Indian Railways has left no stones unturned. Today, IRCTC has taken another philanthropic step to provide distress meals to the homeless and poor people throughout India. According to an IE report, the Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) is likely to provide “distress meals” to the thousands of homeless and destitute amidst the Coronavirus lockdown.
The spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus infection all over the world has left many people in bewilderment. However, the public is supplied by the essentials for basic survival but the problem persists with the poor people who might not have a one-time meal to survive during the lockdown. This step is a helping hand for the homeless poor people who will be supplied with food packets by IRCTC. All the zonal railway headquarters of IRCTC has been instructed to make necessary provisions and facilities for the same. The idea is to provide the basic distress meals and prepare them in bulk for distribution across respective zones. These meal items will include simple recipes like “Daal Khichdi” or the “Swaminarayan khichdi” also called “Akshardham Khichdi” with pickle. Brijesh Arya, convenor of Collective for Homeless, was quoted in the report saying that the census of 2011 has put the total number of homeless people in the city of Mumbai to 57,416 and nearly one lakh people in the state of Maharashtra. However, the actual numbers are much higher than these, with Mumbai alone having around two lakh homeless people.
Brijesh Arya further stated that since their movement is also restricted in this curfew scenario, it’s the mobilization of manpower which might affect their movement. Since IRCTC works with its staff members and contractual staffs, they might face the challenge of shortage of staff in respective zones. However, IRCTC is also working on this aspect with the support of the Indian Government and reach a solution.
The 21 days lockdown period is challenging for every organization and the Indian Railways along with its subsidiary, IRCTC, will try the optimum utilization of resources for this initiative. This noble initiative will feed millions of poor people who face acute dearth even for basic supplies. The provision of food to such a group of people by IRCTC signifies the authenticity of Corporate Social Responsibility which every organization should abide by.
Daily Wage Workers in Indian Railways:
A major division of Indian Railways is the daily wage workers who have lost their job during COVID-19 lockdown. This pandemic has affected the section badly and they are left to fend for themselves. IRCTC might pitch to these daily wage workforces to be a part of this philanthropic deed.