Distribution of Pongal gift hamper and cash gets under way

Tokens were issued in advance to prevent crowding at ration shops

Distribution of Pongal gift packs along with ₹2,500 in cash for each ration rice card holder began in the Central region on Monday.

The gift packs contain one kilogram of rice, one kilogram of sugar, 20 grams of cashew nut, 20 grams of dry grapes, five grams of cardamom, a full size sugarcane and a cloth bag. Tourism Minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan and Backward Classes Minister S. Valarmathi inaugurated the distribution at Palakkarai in the city and Pettavaithalai in the presence of District Collector S. Sivarasu.

An official release said the Pongal gift packs and ₹2,500 cash would be distributed through 1,225 ration shops to a little over eight lakh ration card holders in Tiruchi district in the coming days. Tokens were issued in advance for the ration cards mentioning the time for the card holders to receive the gift pack to prevent crowding, said a salesperson attached to a ration shop in Srirangam. People wearing masks lined up to buy the gift pack from the time the shop opened, the salesperson said adding that personal distancing was maintained.

In Pudukottai district, the distribution was inaugurated by Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar at the Viralimalai cooperative outlet in the presence of District Collector P. Uma Maheswari. The gift packs along with cash would be distributed to a total number of 4,64,142 card holders in the district through 1,024 ration shops. Transport Minister M. R. Vijayabhaskar inaugurated the distribution in Karur district which would benefit 3.09 lakh ration card holders. Collector S. Malarvizhi and officials participated. The distribution in Nagapattinam district was inaugurated by Handlooms Minister O. S. Manian with District Collector Pravin P. Nair presiding over the event. The gift packs would be distributed to a little over 2.10 lakh card holders through 348 ration shops.

Distribution of the gift packs to 10,42,779 families in Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts commenced on Monday. Food Minister R. Kamaraj launched the distribution in Tiruvarur, while AIADMK Rajya Sabha Member R.Vaithilingam inaugurated it in Thanjavur district. The cash and edible items would be distributed to 6,67,941 families in Thanjavur district and to 3,74,838 families in Tiruvarur district in batches commencing from January 4 to 12. The families which have failed to collect the gift hamper on the day allotted to them can collect it on January 13, officials said.

In Ariyalur district, Collector T. Rathna inaugurated the distribution. The gift packs would be distributed to a total number of 2,33,739 card holders in the district. In Perambalur district, the distribution was inaugurated by the District Revenue Officer C. Rajendran in the presence of Perambalur MLA R. Tamilchelvan and Kunnam MLA R.T. Ramachandran. The gift packs would be distributed to 1.81 lakh ration card holders.

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