Scores of people below poverty line in Karnataka's Bellary are seen in a video jostling to get their hands on free food kits at a fair price shop, violating the social distancing norms put in place to check the spread of coronavirus. The beneficiaries - many out of jobs and money because of the nationwide lockdown - are seen swarming the shop despite the virus threat, which shows serious financial distress among the poor.
The food packs were arranged by Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh to provide relief to the people below poverty line, who are struggling to make ends meet because of the lockdown. But in the anxiety to make sure they were not left out people began crowding in to get the kits.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had last month announced a three-week lockdown to arrest the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country. He last week extended the lockdown by over two weeks till May 3.
Businesses across the country are shut for weeks, all public transport facilities suspended, and movement of people outside their houses banned. Experts have said the lockdown will put severe pressure on the economy.
The lockdown has hit the daily wage earners hard as millions are stranded in their homes without essentials. The government had last month ordered the states to provide essentials to the poor people. The centre is also distributing free food grains through fair price shops.
Many states are also distributing free meals to migrant workers.
The government has announced that some industries in rural areas will be allowed to function from April 20. The government says it will also allow the construction of roads and buildings in rural areas and the manufacture of IT hardware to reduce the distress of millions.