It is indeed a pleasant sight to see how each and everybody in India is rallying together to put a fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Indians across sections – conglomerates, celebrities, socialites, government officials, trusts, foundations as well as ordinary citizens have been coming forward and donating generously towards PM Cares (Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance & Relief in Emergency Situations) Fund
From a whopping Rs 1500 Crore by Tata Group, Rs. 1000 Crore by Azim Premji Foundation, Rs 500 crore collectively by Indian Army, Navy, Air Force, to Ambani’s 500 Crore, Aditya Birla Group’s Rs. 500 Crore, Vedanta Group’s 100 Crore, Rahul Bajaj’s 100 Crore, Adani Group’s 100 Crore, ITC’s Rs. 100 Crore, JSW’s Rs. 100 Crore and numerous smaller donations at individual level, the PM Cares have managed to collect Rs. 6500 Crore in a week’s time. Huge number isn’t it? Well, it is three times more than what PMNRF – Prime Minister National Relief Fund got in two years.
However, inspite of the massive inflow of help in the form of money there have been no evidence of outflow of the same at the grassroot level nor there have been any announcement as to how, how much, where and when the fund will help both, India and Indians against the Covid-19 effects and after effects.
Migrant Workers are Left Without Food and Jobs – Is the PM Cares Fund Reaching Them?
The jobless migrant labourers who were stranded in Delhi and who had nothing to eat much to our dismay were charged for the bus tickets that brought them to their hometown in Uttar Pradesh. These buses apparently were arranged after the 21-day nationwide lockdown came into effect on March 24. Yogi Adityanath’s move of sending 1000 buses was applauded by one and all but it is indeed unfortunate that the cattle class with no money were asked to pay for their tickets.
A ABP News video of March 29 shows how DTDC buses were taking the masses to the borders of UP state but several of them had to return back to Anand Vihar bus station after the buses were charging more than the normal. Shouldn’t this ride have been sponsored? After all the government had taken measures to rescue them.
Migrant labourers in Mellapaly, Hyderabad, Mumbai and several places have been left with no food, no job and no place to live – Now will the stranded labour be looked after, from the PM Cares funds that the who’s who of India contributed towards the welfare of Indians and India? As of now only the local NGOs, police constables and residents have been seen helping by their own means in and around their localities. Nowhere there have been updates, news, broadcasts or evidences/proofs of Central Government’s aid helping people at grassroot level.
Unfortunately, not just migrant workers there are students from Central Universities stranded too across the nation.
Will PM Cares Give Enough Aid or Collaborate with Non-Profit Organizations to Work Effectively at Grassroot Level?
No sooner did the 21-day nationwide lockdown was announced than the local NGOs, NPOs started working day in and day out to help those in need. They contributed on their own and urged citizens to come forward and donate for the crisis. Most of them started loosening their purse strings whole-heartedly.
However, post the announcement of PM Cares, individuals have been redirecting their donation towards the Prime Minister’s Fund. Given the situation NGOs and NPOs working on relief will soon struggle. Now will PM funds aid directly, indirectly or in collaboration work out something with them so that they continue doing what they are doing and help people at the grassroot level?
While Money Flows in PM Care Account, there are No Talks About Proper Delivery, Execution and Accountability?
While donating to an NGO, NPO or a society/trust often people ask about execution and delivery. However, none of this is asked while donating for newly formulated PM funds account. Perhaps because the nation has immense trust and faith on PM Modi. However, there ascends several questions –
- How will the execution take place?
- What audit accounts will be given?
- Will there be transparency enough?
- Will the money not divert to other unrelated things?
Now that our Prime Minister have managed to collect a huge amount to fight against Coronavirus even in these gloomy times where people have no jobs, I sincerely hope that the newly founded PM-CARES help, aid and support various public as well as private/local teams, work in synchronization with them and ensure support till the grassroot level effectively. Thus, bridging all our trust deficits and reducing the agony inflicted on millions of vulnerable citizens across India – medically, mentally and financially.
The views expressed here are author’s own!