Coronavirus in India: In 13 states, NGOs fed more people than govt did during lockdown

VIKASH KUMAR SAH
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Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in 13 states and Union Territories provided meals to more people than what their respective state governments did during the nationwide lockdown that started on March 25 in the wake of the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus pandemic. According to a reply submitted by the central government in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, a total of 84,26,509 people were provided meals across the country during the lockdown, which is set to end next week. Of these, 54.15 lakh people were fed by state governments while the remaining 30.11 lakh were fed by NGOs.

An IndiaToday.in analysis of the state-wise data presented by the Centre shows that in 13 states and UTs, NGOs outperformed state governments in providing humanitarian relief in the form of free meals. Most of these meals were provided to stranded migrant labourers and the poor who have been hit the worst owing to loss of income during the lockdown.

In Kerala and Telangana, all meals were exclusively provided by NGOs during the lockdown, the Centre's data show, while in states such as Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Mizoram, NGOs provided 92.8 per cent, 91.7 per cent and 88.5 per cent of all the meals, respectively. (Kerala govt's own data however shows a different picture. Read footnote for details.)

Overall, there were nine states and UTs where NGOs fed more than 75 per cent of the people who were provided meals during the lockdown.

VIKASH KUMAR SAH
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