Migrant workers get free food grains under PMGKAY: BJP

JAMMU: “We feel for the first time that we live in our own country and are not outsiders,” said Bhikhari Baitha from Bihar and head of a seven member family residing in the married workers complex of a small scale unit in Gangyal Industrial Estate. They were celebrating because they were supplied free ration for the first time despite the fact that he and many of his colleagues have been working here for more than a decade. Since, the migrant labourer was treated as “non-residents” due to the discriminatory policy of the earlier governments they were not issued ration cards and hence were denied the benefits of the National Public Distribution System, stated Brig Anil Gupta, Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party, who had acted as a facilitator for these families numbering approximately 21 and comprising 60 souls.
The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) 2020 was announced by the Modi government immediately after Lockdown1.0 was announced. Among many measures announced by the government under the scheme, there was also a provision of issue of additional subsidised rations to the ration card holders and free rations of 5 kg rice/atta and 1 kg pulse to ensure that no one is denied food, said Brig Gupta. The scheme was later extended to the non-ration card holders as well.
Migrant workers who have been living and working in J&K for many years and had decided to stay back during the Lockdown were finding it difficult to manage since they had to buy rations from the market. The decision of the government to extend the scheme to non-ration card holders when explained to them by Brig Gupta during his routine social visit to meet the labourers brought a smile on their face and they said it was the gift of Modi government to them. But most of them being not much educated expressed their apprehension of how to go about. Brig Gupta promised to assist them.
When contacted Simrandeep Singh, Commissioner Secretary Food and Civil Supplies was very responsive and explained the whole procedure and the supply chain involved. Thereafter, it was a matter of liaison with various administrative functionaries and the credit goes to all of them who in a short span of three weeks completed all the formalities and these families were provided rations yesterday. Each family got 5 kg foodgrains per person and 1 kg pulse per family free of cost, said BJP Spokesperson.
Brig Gupta appreciated the cooperation rendered by Manjeet Singh, Tehsildar South, Farhat Choudhari and Raman Sharma, Girdawar.