Chandigarh, May 14 (PTI) Worried that there was no food available after nine members of her family tested COVID-19 positive, a 38-year-old woman from Rajindergarh village in Fatehgarh Sahib dialled the '112' helpline and a Punjab Police team immediately reached their home with the required food.
'We were in dire need of food and when I got to know that the Punjab Police was delivering it to COVID-19 affected families, I dialled helpline number 112. I thank the Punjab government and Punjab Police for starting this humanitarian initiative amid a crisis,' she said.
According to a Punjab Police statement here on Friday, she is not the only one who availed the home delivery of food.
The Punjab Police on Friday received at least 70 such calls on '181' helpline with request for cooked food, after which over 100 food packets were delivered at the doorsteps of COVID- affected families across the state.
The move came a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh declared that 'we will not let anyone sleep hungry in Punjab' amid the COVID-19 crisis. He also started the 'Bhojan Helplines' -- 181 or 112 -- for delivery of free cooked meals at the doorsteps of the poor or underprivileged COVID patients through the Punjab Police Department.
Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said that COVID canteens have been established in every district and the police teams will ensure delivery of cooked food to the COVID-19 affected families in the state. He said that any COVID patient lacking access to food can call 181 or 112 any time of the day or night for delivery of cooked meals at their doorstep.
'While delivering food items, the police teams have been inquiring about the well-being of the families, besides offering them any other help they require,' the DGP added. A Patiala resident, whose wife and two sons tested positive, said there was no one to cook food at home so he also took the help of the helpline.
He appreciated the initiative and said that in such a difficult time, when even relatives and friends are unable to come for help, the police are providing food to the people. A couple from Ludhiana, who along with two more family members tested positive, also expressed gratitude to the Punjab government for providing them food.
During the first wave of COVID, the Punjab Police had converted its 112 Emergency Helpline into a 'Hunger Helpline' and the department had, in collaboration with NGOs, gurudwaras, temples, and other religious institutions, successfully served over 12 crore cooked meals and dry rations in April-June last year, the statement said. PTI SUN VSD AAR AAR