Amid the rapidly unfurling crisis, Indian Railways continued to feed thousands of poor and stranded people free meals across the country in the wake of novel coronavirus spread.
As of now a total of 17,265 confirmed cases are reported for COVID-19 in the country. As many as 2547 persons have been cured/discharged after recovery. A total of 543 deaths have been reported so far due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Distribution of free hot cooked meals by the public transporter during the national lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic crossed the two million mark today.
The global contagion has created unprecedented situations leaving a large number of people vulnerable to hunger. Those worst hit by this pandemic and lockdown are stranded persons, daily wage labourers, migrants, children, coolies, homeless, the poor and many who form the floating population.
Railways staff from a number of Railway organizations have worked tirelessly since March 28, 2020 to provide hot cooked food to needy people after the lockdown due to COVID-19 and till now provided more than 20.5 lakh meals.
Railways has been providing bulk cooked food with paper plates for lunch and food packets for dinner through IRCTC base kitchens, RPF resources and contribution of NGOs. While delivering the food to needy persons, social distancing and hygiene is being observed.
Distribution of food is being done with the help of RPF, GRP, commercial departments of Zones, State Governments, District administrations and NGOs, even beyond the station vicinity to cater to the food requirements of needy people in areas surrounding the railway stations.
With the active cooperation of IRCTC base kitchens in New Delhi, Bangalore, Hubli, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad, Bhusaval, Howrah, Patna, Gaya, Ranchi, Katihar, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar, Balasore, Vijaywada, Khurda, Katpadi, Tiruchirapalli, Dhanbad, Guwahati, Samastipur, Prayagraj, Itarsi, Vishakhapatnam, Chengalpatu, Pune, Hajipur, Raipur and Tatanagar spread over various zones such as Northern, Western, Eastern, Southern and South Central, more than 20.5 lakh cooked meals have been distributed till April 20, 2020.
Of these, about 11.6 lakh cooked meals have been provided by IRCTC, about 3.6 lakh meals have been provided by RPF from its own resources, about 1.5 lakh meals have been provided by Commercial and other departments of Railways and nearly 3.8 lakh meals have been donated by NGOs working with the Railway organizations.
The Railway Protection Force has played a major role in the food distribution to needy people prepared by IRCTC, other Railway departments, NGOs and from its own kitchens.
Starting with distribution of food to 5419 needy persons over 74 locations on March 28, the number has grown daily. Presently about 50,000 persons daily are being provided meals on an average by RPF across approximately 300 locations across the country.
In order to help as many people as possible, Indian Railway organizations have teamed up to feed hot cooked meals and hope to thousands of people everyday.
Besides free meals, railway workshops are currently engaged in manufacturing medical kits.
In its continuation efforts to fight against COVID-19, leading from the front Northern Railway workshops have already fabricated 2464 number of coverall till date with a record fabrication of 1003 in a single day on April 19 thereby ramping up its fabrication capacity to 1000 per day.
Apart from fabrication of coverall, railway workshops are also doing In-house production of masks, sanitizers and conversion of coaches into isolation wards.
Northern zone has produced a total of 32,682 Masks, 4715 liters of sanitizer while converting 540 coaches into Isolation Wards.