With the onset of the pandemic, times have gotten tough for everyone. People have lost jobs, migrants have had no means to travel back to the safety of their households, and with the lack of a steady income, people largely are on the cusp of bankruptcy, nationwide.
The government has, after acknowledging the plea of poor labourers and workers, have initiated the PM Garib Kalyan Anna yojana – a scheme under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat programme that aims to offer free food grains to migrants and poor and basically anyone who, in these trying times, do not even have money to afford themselves some meals.
Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, more than 33 crore people from the economically backward classes have been given financial assistance that cumulatively amounts to ₹21,235 crores.
The ration distribution work started under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
Benefits offered by the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana
There are several benefits announced by the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana. Some of them have been mentioned herewith:
- During the period April-November 2020, more than 80 crore people have been provided with 5kg free wheat/rice per person per month along with 1kg free whole chana to each family per month.
- Wheat has been allocated to 6 states and union territories: Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Chandigarh, Delhi, and Gujarat, and rice has been provided to the remaining States and UTs.
- Safai Karmacharis, ward-boys, nurses, ASHA workers and paramedics alongside technicians, doctors, and specialists, and other health care workers would also be provided with a ₹50 lakh cover for their relentless efforts and as many as 22 lakh health workers would be covered under the benefits of this scheme
- Under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana, gas cylinders would be provided free of cost to around 8 crore poor families nationwide.
- The government will also provide ₹1,000 for three months to three crore aged widows and people from the Divyang category so as to get by with their most basic sustenance.
- MNREGA wages will be increased by ₹20 with effect from the 1st of April 2020 and this is said to benefit approximately 13.62 crore families.
- There will also be amendments made to the Employees’ Provident fund regulations to include Pandemic as the reason so as to allow the non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever stands to be lower, from their accounts.
With the implementation of this scheme, workers and labourers from all over the nation can breathe some sigh of relief especially in times of such uncertainty. People have had a tough time making ends meet with rising prices of goods and practically no influx of income, which leads to a financial void that gets too hard to fill in the future.
The Garib Kalyan Yojana is a temporary solution to the crisis which will wither away once the vaccine is found. Until then, this effort from the government will help households stay afloat in these trying times.