COVID-19: People going hungry in Panaji, says Parrikar's son

3/30/2020

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With Panaji reeling under severe food and groceries shortage amid the ongoing lockdown like other parts of Goa, former Chief Minister late Manohar Parrikar's son Utpal on Monday, participated in a drive to deliver essential groceries to 500 people living in the late Defence Minister's home constituency.

"Many people who live day to day cannot afford to buy large amounts of grocery at a time. They have to survive. It is easy to say 'stay at home', but many people are facing hunger. Ground reality is it is difficult to get supplies. I do not know if it is hoarded by people," Utpal Parrikar told IANS on Monday.

The outreach by Utpal, who is a member of the state executive committee of the Goa Bharatiya Janata Party, comes at a time when the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant-led administration is facing accusations of inefficiency vis a vis ensuring availability of food supplies and basic essentials to hundreds of thousands of Goans across the state who are in a state of panic due to grocery stores running out of stock. The home delivery system initiated by the government, with the help of volunteers from political parties, has also been accused of diverting and hoarding essential goods, releasing them only to party workers and other favourites.

Former Panaji MLA and BJP leader Sidharth Kuncalienkar has also alleged a scam in the diversion of essential goods in the home delivery mechanism devised by the city corporation which is controlled by the BJP.

Utpal Parrikar said that he himself faced a lot of issues related to sourcing of material for the outreach programme, on behalf of the Mahalaxmi temple trust. Mahalaxmi is the city deity of Panaji, a constituency represented by Manohar Parrikar since 1994.

"I am just giving it on behalf of the Mahalaxmi trust as a social cause to a few needy people so that they can stay at home for a few days. We are trying to reach 500 families which are in need," Utpal said.

"I was doing it silently for the past two three days. I was facing a lot of issues getting the material. We will try to repeat it next week, so that these people can stay inside. That is the next goal," he said, adding that people who live on day-to-day finances find it difficult to buy large volumes of groceries to last several days.

Source: IANS

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