The Union Government’s recent decision to hike fuel price and put a cap on the subsidised LPG cylinder has seen many NGOs suffering.
While some organizations give free boarding and lodging facilities, others serve free meals helping thousands of people in the state.
However, the cap on the LPG cylinders has left these institutions in a lurch.
City Express had a glimpse of these institutions’ woes when this reporter visited Shishu Mandir, a charitable organisation which provides free education besides serving breakfast and lunch to over 250 poor students.
When asked for his reaction to the government’s decision, Anand C, director of Shishu Mandir explained, “We are deeply affected by this price hike in two ways. Firstly, we use over 12 cylinders per month. The bulk permit to use the cylinders was cancelled. Finally, the price of a cylinder has affected our budget. Earlier, we paid Rs 400 per cylinder but now we have to shell out over Rs 1,100 per cylinder. In the beginning of an academic year, we allot money for food in our budget which includes food materials, vegetables and the LPG among other things. With the cap on LPG, we find it utterly difficult to approach donors and request them to donate more money to the organisation.”
He further said that the supply of LPG cylinders to Shishu Mandir was stopped when the announcement was made. “We approached the distributors, they said they were helpless.
We have approached a private organisation requesting them to supply cylinders until we find a solution for this.”
Many NGOs in the city have urged the government to reconsider its decision. They have pleaded that there should be exceptions for at least those NGOs and the charitable organisations which are serving the society. The Akshaya Patra Foundation, an NGO which serves lunch to more than 5 to 7 lakh school children per day is an example.
“We use over 20 LPG cylinders in one kitchen per day. The organisation runs across the country and in some states we get subsidy but other states offer only partial subsidy,” said Chanchalapathi Dasa, vice chairman of the organisation.
“The cap of the supply of the LPG will affect the Foundation’s operations, as it will now incur an additional Rs 2 crore expense,” he added.