Congress slams GHMC for banning NGOs from food distribution

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Congress Committee Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah has strongly condemned the decision taken by Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) to ban the NGOs and individuals from distributing food, rice and other items among the poor and needy.

Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement on Saturday, said that the decision would have a negative impact on poor, especially those living in slums and interior areas. He said that the Telangana Government did not provide any help to the poor ever since the ‘Janata Curfew’ and subsequent ‘lock down’ on March 22. He said lakhs of daily wage earners, auto-rickshaw and cab drivers, vendors, labourers and small traders were badly hit and most of them had no food to eat.

The State Government made hollow announcements and only extended customary assistance to a few people. At this juncture, several NGOs and individuals came to their rescue and provided food, vegetables, rice and other essential items to the poor. Instead of appreciating the work being done by NGOs and individuals, the State Government is trying to stop them from doing good work, he said.

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He said there were many areas where people did not get the food for many days. Therefore, it is the hunger (and not disrespect for the rules) that is forcing the poor people to rush to places where food is being distributed.

The Congress leader said that it was essential for everyone to follow the rules of Social Distancing at every stage of food preparation, packing and distribution and almost all NGOs and individuals providing food have been strictly following the norms.

However, there might be a few isolated cases of violation of Social Distancing norms. Instead of taking corrective steps, the GHMC is trying to ban everyone from helping the poor. Since Social Distancing norms are being violated at many places during distribution of rice at ration shops, will the government totally stop rice distribution across the Telangana State? he asked.

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Sameer Waliullah said that the TRS Government was trying to politicise the food distribution among poor and objecting to the activities being carried out by people not belonging to the ruling party. Ideally, he said all the elected representatives should have taken the responsibility of feeding the poor in their constituencies.

However, except for symbolic participation, they are not visible anywhere. In such a situation, he said NGOs and some individuals were filling the vacuum by extending required assistance to the poor.

The Congress leader demanded that the GHMC recall its decision and permit all NGOs and individuals to continue with their activities. However, he urged all to follow the social distancing norms and ensure delivery of food and other items at their doorstep instead of assembling them at any particular place.


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