Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Wednesday said the state will provide free pineapple and lemon juice to boost people’s immunity to keep the coronavirus infection at bay.
This decision was taken under the 'Public Immunity-Boosting Programme' and was approved by the state Cabinet on Tuesday.
“Amid this pandemic situation, booting immunity has become very important. So we decided to distribute pineapple and lemon juice every Saturday from noon to 4 pm to people,” said Deb.
Deb, who is particular about health and fitness, said Tripura each year produces 1.28 Lakh MT of pineapple.
"Pineapple and lemon are rich in Vitamin C and have the potential to enhance immunity. Our target will be to take this scheme to the large population to boost their immunity,” he said.
On this immunity booster scheme, he later said in a tweet, “A healthy society is the foundation for socio-economic development of any state. Keeping this in view, our government has decided to introduce a public immunity-boosting programme in urban areas for next one month. The fruits will be directly purchased from our farmers.”
The Self-Help Groups (SHG) under the Deendayal Antodaya Yojana - National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) will distribute the juice. The SHGs will be allowed to directly purchase the seasonal fruits from farmers. A single SHG will be allowed to distribute a maximum of 200 pineapples and 400 lemons (in juice form) in a week in one ward.
The Urban Development and Rural Development Department will look after the implementation of this scheme, which will entail an expenditure of Rs 1 crore for a month.
Tripura is known for one of the finest qualities of ‘Kew’ and ‘Queen’ pineapples in the world. The state's annual pineapple production is around 1.3 lakh tonnes and President Ram Nath Kovind had declared the ‘Queen’ pineapple as Tripura’s ‘State Fruit’ in 2018.