People in rural areas of Meghalaya have pressured elected representatives and the government to provide them foodgrains during the lockdown.
In many places, people insisted their respective elected representatives to bring rice so that the same can be distributed to the poor families and those households not included as beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
In a meeting convened by Nongshken MDC Grace Mary Kharpuri with headmen from various villages in her constituency, it was unanimously decided that the MDC utilise Rs 10 lakh from the MDC scheme to purchase rice so that the same can be distributed to the people.
“There are people especially poor families who cannot get rice even if they have little money with them,” the headman of Riwai village along the Indo-Bangla border, Holland Khongyiang said.
“It is very difficult to get rice from the open markets due to limited stocks available in our nearby centre like Pynursla,” said Khongyiang.
Many headmen also asked the government to bring the essential items close to their area in order to stop the movement of people from rural areas to Shillong in search of food items.
The headmen also asked the government to include all families in rural areas as beneficiaries under the NFSA as there are many families who did not get rice.
“It is very difficult to get rice for many families in villages especially when they cannot get it from open markets,” Khongyiang said.
Kharpuri assured that she would try her level best to get rice and distribute the same to various villages by working together with the headmen.
She urged the headmen to identify the families in their respective villages that require rice and distribute to such families.
The MDC also stressed the need to co-operate with the government during this lockdown period to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and not to be complacent, though no case of COVID19 in Meghalaya was reported so far.
“We thank the Almighty for this and all who are working tirelessly to contain the spread of this dangerous virus,” Kharpuri said.
She also thanked the government and deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong for taking steps to ease the problems being faced by the people during this crisis.
Kharpuri urged the headmen to work together to help the people in need, and set aside political differences by not pointing fingers, but work towards helping each other.