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Coronavirus | Armed forces can set up special kitchens: Adm. Ramdas writes to Modi

Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral L. Ramdas. File

Former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral L. Ramdas. File   | Photo Credit: V. Sudershan

He added that it was essential to ensure that a lack of access to food did not allow more people to become “vulnerable by lowered immunity because of lack of nutrition at this critical juncture’

India is facing an unprecedented challenge due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the likes of which the country has not witnessed since partition, and the armed forces with units across the country should be roped in to “organise and provide food through special kitchens which they can set up and run near their current locations,” former Navy Chief Admiral L. Ramdas suggested in an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The food stocks can be directly indented from the District Collector of the district in which the armed forces get so deployed. This will ensure that large numbers of our people will not have to either physically travel distances in search of food nor go to bed hungry,” he said in the letter dated March 27. “I am also confident that our armed forces are well equipped and trained to render any other forms of assistance that may be required,” he added.

Adm. Ramdas said despite several measures by Central and State governments, the 21-day ‘Lock in’ does “entail a huge disruption and loss of jobs to a large number of people” most of whom belong to the poor and marginalised sectors. It was essential to ensure that a lack of access to food did not allow more people to become “vulnerable by lowered immunity because of lack of nutrition at this critical juncture,” he stated.

Observing that he was aware that this would be an “unusual application of the provision to deploy armed forces as aid to civil power,” Adm. Ramdas said this suggestion was being made in the larger interest of the people. “Unprecedented situations call for unprecedented measures — and this measure may be treated solely in this spirit,” he stated.

Observing that jawans and their equivalents in the other two services also hailed from villages across India, Adm. Ramdas added that this initiative would be “well received and also evoke maximum participation”.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 7:33:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/armed-forces-can-set-up-special-kitchens-adm-ramdas-writes-to-pm-modi/article31194319.ece

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