The COVID-19 pandemic has not only conveyed us the existence of humanity in this fast-developing world where hypocrisy, dishonesty and self-seeking are looming large, but also revealed the presence of good Samaritans, who selflessly help others in these trying times and expect nothing in return.
At a time when many people lost their jobs, their livelihood put at stake, many good samaritans, NGOs and volunteers came forward with their stellar act of generosity.
Like rest of the world, Mizoram has also witnessed such “samaritan acts” on several occasions, which received accolades in the internet.
The noble acts of state sports minister Robert Romawia Royte and former minister C Vulluaia in providing foods to the poor are no exception.
Royte, who was elected from Aizawl East-II constituency in the 2018 assembly polls, has announced that he will bear the ration expenses of over 11,000 poor within his constituency for eight months through his own savings and not from government funds.
There are 11,087 beneficiaries from several families, who hold Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) or “poorest of poor” and Priority Household (PHH) or Below Poverty Line ration cards in seven localities within Aizawl East-II constituency for availing subsidized food grains from public distribution system under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The minister said that he would bear the ration expenses of 11,087 AAY and PHH beneficiaries irrespective of party affiliation.
He would meet the expenses for eight months from May to December through his monthly salary he saved for helping the needy and not from MLA area development fund.
Aizawl East-II is the worst Covid-19 affected constituency in Mizoram.
Royte, who is also the owner of Aizawl Football Club, the first football club from Northeast to win I-League in 2016-2017, said that he has been saving his monthly salary for the poor since he was elected to the state assembly in 2018.
“The ration expenses would solely be met from monthly salary. I have been saving my MLA salary, which I kept it aside for helping the poor since the beginning. MLA funds are meant for other developments,” the 55-year-old leader said.
He said that he would spend around Rs. 15 lakhs for the purchase of 4,89,120 kg of rice for eight months.
He would continue with the good cause, if necessary, he added.
Apart from sports, Royte also holds Information and Communication Technology, and Tourism in the present Mizo National Front (MNF) government.
Meanwhile, former law minister and prominent journalist C. Vulluaia also assisted over 500 poor families within his locality- Dawrpui Vengthar in Aizawl by bearing their ration expenses for May.
The food crisis triggered by coronavirus induced lockdown and the hesitancy on the the poor residents to reveal their hardship have moved the leader for the noble act, family sources said.
Vulluaia, 85, who is now battling with Alzheimer’s disease, was elected to the state assembly in 1978, 1979 and 1993.