Lockdown leaves homeless in the lurch

Many left to go hungry due to no-show by NGOs and early closure of Annapurna canteens  

Published: 13th May 2021 01:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th May 2021 03:14 PM   |  A+A-

Homeless and the hungry line up at a food donation camp at Nampally on Wednesday. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

Homeless and the hungry line up at a food donation camp at Nampally on Wednesday. (Photo | Vinay Madapu, EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Homeless people in Hyderabad have been left on the lurch once again as the State imposed a total lockdown on Wednesday. Many of those who live on the streets were left searching for food, and those who had congregated outside the GHMC’s Annapurna canteens after 1 pm were disappointed as the canteens remained closed. Due to the stringent  lockdown measures, NGO’s did not show up to provide food for the needy. Almost all the refrigerators installed in the city to feed the needy were empty.

“We have all been left to die. They took my wife and children to a rehabilitation centre. They will never know if I die of hunger,” lamented Vignesh, who lives on the Somajiguda main road. “This is really scary. At least we did not have any food shortage during the first lockdown,” another homeless person added. “My son kicked me out of my house. I have been left to fend for myself. I am too weak to work. I have no choice but to beg. But now, due to this lockdown, I cannot even beg. I did not even have `5 to pay for meals,” said M Janardhan.

All the Annapurna canteens in the city were kept open on Wednesday, but only till 1 pm. Many people kept waiting at the `5 canteens after 1 pm, but the canteens remained closed. During the first lockdown, all Annapurna canteens were serving lunch and dinner free of cost and delivering meals to those in need.
“Last year, we had orders to serve both lunch and dinner for free and over 50,000 people were eating duo meals. But now, since there is no official order,  we still have to charge `5 for a meal and only serve it for an hour after noon,” said an official from the GHMC.

102 more canteens on the way
The GHMC has decided to arrange another 102 Annapurna meal centres from May 14 to provide `5 meals during lunch time. According to officials, these centres are in addition to  the 140 existing canteen as there is demand for `5 meals during this lockdown. The news centres are being planned across all six zones in GHMC limits.


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