All families living in the slum areas of the city, numbering around 26 lakh, will get free food from the Greater Chennai Corporation from Sunday morning.
“Food will be provided from Sunday morning to December 13 night. The Corporation machinery is in full swing to undertake this great service, which will be the largest community food service ever undertaken,” Prakash said. He added that the initiative was to compensate for the loss of livelihood of the poorest residents of the city due to rains and COVID-19.
The civic body had provided food to the people who had taken shelters during the incessant rain. Meanwhile, activists have urged the government to include other vulnerable sections of the population, who are affected due to COVID-19 lockdown and rains.
Venessa Peter, policy researcher of Information and Resource Centre for the Deprived Urban Communities (IRCDUC), said homeless persons were more affected due to the incessant rains. “While some homeless dwellers took shelter at relief centres, several others are still on roads. Apart from them, poor people who had migrated to Chennai from other districts also suffered a lot. They do not even have ration cards. They should also be included in the programme,” she added.
She also opined that instead of handing over the cooking and distribution works to private persons, the civic body should create community kitchens at slum areas and employ local slum dwellers in cooking and distribution jobs. “This would provide at least temporary employment to them,” she added.