TIRUCHY: Amma Canteens which offer food at an affordable rate are a blessing to the poor, working class and street dwellers. But, the lockdown has worsened the financial condition of several such people, many of whom have said that the government should consider offering food free of cost through Amma Canteens during the lockdown.
Karuppiah, a construction worker from Pudukottai, said, “I reached the city on Sunday night with the hope of getting some work. But, I didn’t and had to stay at the railway junction. I was able to manage the expense for three days. After that, I started depending on food offered by kind-hearted individuals. However, on Friday, nobody came to the station to distribute food. We are unable to roam owing to the lockdown. Though there is an Amma Canteen near the station, I am not able to get anything as I don’t have any money. There are many workers like me. Therefore, I request the government to consider distributing food free of cost through Amma Canteen during the lockdown.”
Some of the street dwellers also said that the government should seriously consider the free distribution if it wants to extend the lockdown.
Marimuthu, a cobbler staying under the Palakarai bridge, said, “I used to earn at least Rs 100 a day. All that is now gone. There are several people like me doing small jobs. The lockdown has compelled all of us to depend on food packets offered by good samaritans.
As food is being distributed at various places at different hours, some of us end up with no food. So, the government should consider distributing free food to people like us during the lockdown.” When contacted, senior Corporation officials said that they would work on this.
DMK to foot bill for 15 Amma canteens in Kovai
Coimbatore: Fifteen Amma Unavagams functioning in Coimbatore started distributing food free of cost to the needy on Friday. DMK will bear the expenses for preparing the food during the lockdown period, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies R Sakkarapani and Minister for Forests K Ramachandran said in a release. Steps have been taken to offer free food at Amma Unavagams in Nilgiris, Tirupur and Erode also, they said.
The 15 Amma Unavagams record average footfall of around 7,500 to 10,000 persons and `52.5 lakhs is being spent on preparing food.