NEW DELHI: A total of 1.27 crore destitute and homeless people were provided with cooked food during the lockdown, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment said on Tuesday.
Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishnapal Gurjar said the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment under the Ministry has formulated a project for persons engaged in the act of begging, which would cover identification, rehabilitation, provision of medical facilities, counselling, education, skill development.
"This is being implemented on a pilot basis in ten selected cities. The ten identified cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Patna, Nagpur and Indore. Out of these cities, an amount of Rs 2.00 crore to Hyderabad, Rs 1.50 crore to Indore and Rs 1.50 crore to Patna has been released after receiving action plan from the States," he said.
Gurjar said during the lockdown, the municipal corporations of the identified cities were requested to open feeding centres to provide free meals to beggars and destitute people and project to the Ministry fund requirements for the same.
"As informed by the Municipal administration of these cities as many as 1.27 crore persons have been provided free meals," he said.
Responding to another question, Gurjar said the government under the Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives has developed its own indigenous prototype Smart Cane, a digital device for the differently-abled, which is undergoing trials following which its in-house production will start.
"Under Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a Central Public Sector Enterprise (CPSE) under the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities has recently developed its own indigenous prototype Smart Cane, a digital device, which is under extensive trial following which its in-house production will start," he said in a written reply.