Port Blair, May 17: The District Administration South Andaman undertook the task of providing relief material to the needy people residing in the district, primarily those of whom who were not covered under the PDS system and were thus adversely affected by the lockdown due to COVID-19. These primarily included stranded migrants, casual laborers, tribals, divyang persons, widows, persons in extreme distress due to loss of livelihood on account of lockdown, especially in the containment zones.

The beneficiaries were identified on the basis of requests/ submission of lists of such needy persons by the Pradhans/ Ward Councillors, calls received on helpline numbers of the Labour Department / District Control Room, needy persons identified by the NGOs/social workers. After the receipt of the information, field verification of the genuineness of the persons, is carried out by the field staff of the District Administration and the relief material is thereafter distributed to the needy.

The relief items in the kits primarily contain rice and atta supplemented by  items like onions and potatoes /dal, salt and sugar. In this effort, the District Administration was supported by the various civil society organizations like ACCI, SKSSF, Surabhi, Voice of Christ, Sant Nirankari Mission, AR Square, ISM, Society of Pillar, Island Islamic Foundation, Pankh etc. The distribution of relief kits was done throughout the district in both urban and rural areas and also in the Islands of Swaraj Dweep, Shaheed Dweep & Rutland. Efforts have been made to cover all the needy persons in all the areas of the district so that no needy person is left out. Till date, more than 7000 relief kits have been distributed by the District Administration alone and also relief kits in excess of 8000 have been distributed by the various NGOs/ community groups, to the needy.

Apart from the above, cooked meals are also being distributed two times a day by the District Administration to the needy persons. In this initiative the District Administration has been supported by the ANIIDCO. Apart from this, major contribution in this endeavor has also been provided by Civil Society organizations like the Rajasthan Manch, Minnie Bay Gurudwara, Vegetable Vendors Association of Bathubasti etc.