GUWAHATI: As the poor are starving in the 21-day lockdown, some NGOs as well as the police are coming to their rescue.
Emerging as Good Samaritans, the Khalsa Centre North East (KCNE) on Friday reached out to slum dwellers in Guwahati, offering food to some 1,500 of them. The NGO has been extending such services to the needy for the past three years.
“We offered khichdi (an Indian comfort food dish) to nearly 1,500 slum dwellers at three places of the city’s Noonmati and Uzan Bazar areas today (Friday). We took help from the district administration in identifying the places,” KCNE chairman Capt PP Singh told New Indian Express.
He said the people were very thankful and some even enquired if the food would be provided on Saturday.
“At one place, the people offered prayers for us. Children and women stood up and offered the prayers. They prayed that our stock never empties. I was really moved,” Singh said.
The KCNE has decided to continue with the service till the lockdown is lifted or as long as it is viable.
“We heard the vegetable markets have been closed down. If that is the case, we will have a tough time in getting vegetables for khichdi. Money is not a problem when your intentions are good. We set up a langar every Wednesday at the B Baruah Cancer Institute (in Guwahati),” Singh said.
He said people from all communities and faiths were a part of KCNE and they contribute.
On Thursday, the Smart Protection Unit (SPU) commandos of Assam Police fed the homeless, mostly rag pickers, in different areas of the city.
“In order to facilitate relief, SPU personnel have been deployed for helping those in need. The first drive was conducted today (Thursday),” the Assam Police tweeted.
The police on Thursday rescued a helpless Russian woman from a street in Guwahati. She had run out of money and was looking to go to a temple for shelter.
Guwahati Police Commissioner Munna Prasad Gupta said the woman had been kept at a quarantine centre. “We have contacted her embassy. They are in touch with her,” Gupta said.
He also said that the police were helping the homeless and the stranded, who were in need of food and shelter, by coordinating with some NGOs.
Help from the police is coming in other cities and towns of the state as well. In Golaghat town of Upper Assam, the cops supplied medicines and essential items to some old and ailing people on Thursday.