NEW DELHI: The Indian Railways has served over 20 lakh meals to the needy for free during the ongoing nationwide lockdown, the national transporter said on Monday.
In a statement, it said since March 28, it has been providing cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and NGOs.
"While delivering the food to needy persons, social distancing and hygiene are being observed.
Distribution of food is being done with the help of RPF, GRP, commercial departments of zones, state governments, district administrations and NGOs," it said.
More than 20.5 lakh cooked meals have been distributed through the IRCTC base kitchens in New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hubli, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, Bhusaval, Howrah, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Katihar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, Balasore, Vijaywada, Khurda, Katpadi, Tiruchirapalli, Dhanbad, Guwahati, Samastipur, Prayagraj, Itarsi, Vishakhapatnam, Chengalpattu, Pune, Hajipur, Raipur and Tatanagar, spread over various railway zones such as northern, western, eastern, southern and south central, till Monday, the statement said.
Of these, about 11.6 lakh meals have been provided by IRCTC, about 3.6 lakh by the RPF from its own resources, about 1.5 lakh by commercial and other departments of the railways and nearly 3.8 lakh meals have been donated by the NGOs working with the railway organisations, it added.
"The Railway Protection Force has played a major role in food distribution to needy people prepared by IRCTC, other railway departments, NGOs and from its own kitchens.
Starting with distribution of food to 5,419 needy persons over 74 locations on March 28, the number has grown daily.
"Presently, about 50,000 persons daily are being provided meals on an average by RPF across approximately 300 locations across the country," the statement said.