Politicians don the mantle of good Samaritans for those in distressUpdated: Mar 30, 2020 16:58 IST
Politicians, who are usually accused of paying lip service to various causes and eyeing photo ops, are quietly helping the poor and the harassed migrant workers who are stuck because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
While many politicians have ordered their party cadres to ready food packets for the poor, some like UP BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh are busy preparing meals for those in distress.
“See, it’s a global scare. We all need to do whatever we can to help the poor. So, while the cadres have set up community kitchens, I too thought of doing my bit by cooking food for the poor. There can’t be a bigger satisfaction than feeding the hungry,” Singh says.
Swatantra Dev has also donated his two months’ salary along with Rs 10 million (Rs 1 crore) from his MLA fund.
Samajwadi Party’s national spokesman Rajiv Rai has directed medical shops in Mau and Ballia in eastern UP to provide medicines to the poor, even if they are unable to pay.
“If any poor person comes to you for masks or medicines and is genuinely unable to make payments, please send the bill to me and I will make the payment,” Rai has told the owners of medicine shops.
UP basic education minister Satish Dwivedi connects with the masses of his Itwa assembly segment on Facebook daily.
“I am told that many are still overcharging people, be it for rations, essentials or medicines. This is happening despite clear directions of the state government, and efforts being made by chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who is monitoring the situation round the clock, holding meetings late into the night,” he says.
“I am told even vegetables are being sold for lot more than what they should be. I have taken note of this and surely things would be set right,” Dwivedi adds.
Another minister Mohsin Raza too has been connecting with people on Facebook.
Devmani Dwivedi, the BJP lawmaker from Lambhua in Sultanpur, has penned a poem to make people aware of the dangers that the virus poses and the need for a joint, coordinated effort against it.
In Fatehpur, Congress workers have set up a community kitchen. In Etawah, the Congress cadres are distributing fruits to migrant workers on their way to villages. In Agra, Congress district chief Manoj Dixit has started serving morning tea to passers-by.
“Our party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi has set up a WhatsApp group, which she is monitoring and accordingly providing help on the basis of feedback she is getting,” says UP Congress leader DP Singh.
“The Samajwadi Party cadres under the direction of party chief Akhilesh Yadav are active across the state. You can check with migrant labourers coming into UP from Delhi if they have met with people wearing red caps who have offered them food, besides making them aware of the need to maintain social distancing,” says Samajwadi Party leader IP Singh.
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leaders have also been using their MLA and MP funds to help boost health infrastructure.