AGARTALA, March 29 - As the lockdown entered its fifth day today, providing essential items to the poor, particularly migrant labourers, tea workers, day wagers and brick field workers, has became a major concern for the Tripura Government.
A large number of poor people and day wagers have lost their livelihood due to the 21-day lockdown and they are now facing immense difficulty to make ends meet.
Milkmen, too, are facing tough times as people have stopped taking high protein food and beverages because of the coronavirus scare.
�People are not taking milk ever since the coronavirus outbreak. We are selling milk at Rs 20 per litre which was being sold at Rs 60 per litre earlier, and sadly there are few takers even at that price. Hundreds of families, who are earning their livelihood by selling milk, are spending sleepless nights because of this unfortunate development,� said Ramesh Yadav, a resident of Gowalabasti on the outskirts of the city.
�Distribution of milk has been reduced by about 50 percent due to COVID-19 scare. People are not buying milk and milk products for the past few days even though milk is a balanced and high protein drink,� said an official of Gomati Milk Union which runs the State�s lone dairy.
Keeping all aspects in mind, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb today tried to reach out to the affluent people with an appeal for lending a helping hand to the people in distress.
Deb appealed to the tea planters and brick field owners to provide food and other basic necessities to the people engaged in the unorganised sector in this hour of crisis. Besides, he made a request to the businessmen, contractors and government employees to contribute generously for the cause of the people in distress.
Sources said money has been started pouring into the Chief Minister�s Relief Fund with the Ministers, MLAs, MPs and various organisations contributing to help the hapless people.
On the other hand, Deb has written letters to the Chief Ministers of Delhi, West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Tamil Nadu to take care of the people of Tripura stranded at their respective States because of the nationwide lockdown.
In the letters, the Chief Minister requested his counterparts to provide food, accommodation, security and medical aid to the stranded people of Tripura. �I do believe that we will get cooperation during the coronavirus pandemic,� he said.