Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K.Palaniswami on Friday launched a special gift package along with a cash incentive of Rs 1,000 to the ration card holders in the state to enable them to celebrate the harvest festival of Pongal in January next year.
Palaniswami distributed the cash incentive and gift hampers comprising one kg raw rice, one kg sugar, a piece of sugarcane, 20 gms of cashew and dry grapes and five gram of cardamom to 16 beneficiaries at a function held at State Secretariat.
The Chief Minister had announced that the ration card holders having 'rice' card would get the special gift package along with the cash incentive before the Pongal festival, that falls on January 15, 2020 through the ration shops.
He also announced that the initiative would be extended next year also. The government had allotted Rs 2363.13 crore for this purpose, he said.
Palaniswami also launched the distribution of free dhoti and saree scheme, coinciding with Pongal festival, by distributing it to 16 beneficiaries. As part of the scheme, sarees and dhoties were procured from handloom weavers and distributed among the poor people.
He said Pongal was not only celebrated as a harvest festival, but was celebrated as an occasion to hail the farmers, who feed the people and the farmers thanking the Sun God for a good harvest.
Pongal was a traditional and main festival of Tamils, marking the birth of the auspicious Tamil month of "Thai" and was celebrated with a lot of fervor and gaiety. After decorating the courtyards and drawing colourful "Rangolis," the households prepare Pongal, a sweet delicacy made of rice, milk and jiggery and the festival would last four days and culminate with "Kaanum Pongal" (sight seeing).