Kerala distributes Rs.1.6 crore to 12,500 poor

November 20th, 2011 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Nov 20 (IANS) In a non-stop 19-hour mass contact programme here, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy heard the financial complaints of over 20,000 poor people and distributed Rs.1.6 crore to over 12,500 of them.

Financial aid of Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000 was given to over 2,000 people, Rs.10,000 was given to 500 families, one-time aid was given to families whose breadwinners are no more, educational loans were given to 350 people and numerous complaints related to the state revenue department were also settled.

Kochi was the third district to host the programme which Chandy launched when he first became the chief minister in 2004.

Chandy is said to have stood for the entire duration of the programme, from Saturday 8.30 a.m. to Sunday 4 a.m., and had just oats and a few glasses of water.

“It was a marathon session which left many wondering how and where does Chandy gets so much energy,” said a government official.

Lakshmi, one of the 20,000 people who had come to air their grievances, was handed over Rs.20,000 as a one-time assistance as her husband Velayudhan is bedridden since nearly three years.

“I have been knocking on all doors for assistance but I was yet to get anything, but now I have got it,” said Lakshmi, with tears running down her cheeks.

The first mass contact programme was held at Kozhikode earlier this month and was soon followed up by one in the capital. Eleven more districts would be holding similar programmes.

“There might be complaints that norms are not being followed when financial assistance to the most needy are sanctioned. But I sanction it just on humanitarian consideration. If mistakes are pointed out, it can be rectified,” said Chandy.

Speaking to IANS, Congress legislator Benny Behanan said: “The beauty of the programme is that there is no politics in the programme and the beneficiary gets an assistance because he really needs it.”

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