On the ninth day of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown, a group of poor people sitting at Deshbandhu road near Jhandewalan temple in Delhi has claimed that they are not getting their daily ration as promised by the state government and are forced to sleep hungry. Many of them have claimed that there is no food security and they survive only on what they get from those passing by the area. Around 100 people were seen sitting at a footpath.
"It's been more than a week, we haven't got any food and even if we get food it's partially uncooked. We do not have a single penny to take our kids to hospital and they are getting ill after eating this uncooked food," said a scrap collector, who lost her livelihood after the lockdown kicked in.
She alleged that policemen charge their baton at those who go and ask for food to drive them away. "We are not getting ration at all. We are facing a lot of difficulties but nobody listening to us. There is no food guarantee for us," she added. When asked if they had anything during the day, the woman said that all they had was the khichdi given to them by the temple.
Another lady said that the state government provide cooked meals which aren't enough to feed her whole family and which has to be consumed instantly. "There's no point in having cooked meals as it isn't sufficient nor can it last. We don't get foodgrains as ration," she said. Some in the group said that they are living in the city for over a decade and making a living doing odd jobs.
As per official statements, the Delhi government has started distribution of 7.5 Kgs of ration to every needy person which will benefit around 70 lakh people in the national capital. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that more than four lakh poor people will be fed in Delhi government schools and night shelters and more than 1000 mobile teams will distribute food to people in street mohallas. However, claims made on paper and camera seem to be aloof of the realities on the ground.