Coimbatore: Hundreds of beneficiaries gathered in front of ration shops across the district on Wednesday to receive the Pongal gift of Rs 1,000 and a gift hamper containing one-kg raw rice, five grams of raisins, cardamom, cashew nuts and a piece of sugarcane, one-and-half feet long.
This follows an earlier announcement made by the government that cash and gift hamper would be disbursed through ration shops across the state, before Pongal. According to sources, in Coimbatore 10,03,477 ration card holders are eligible for gift hamper. Of this, 8,45,000 are cards by which consumers can buy rice. As many as 75,000 cards are those eligible to buy only sugar, and the remaining are ‘police cards’, used just for identity purpose.
Distribution of pongal item started from January 7 onwards in a few ration shops considering the crowd. This was temporarily stopped for officials to make special arrangements by giving tokens along with date of schedule, to receive the items.
On Wednesday, these items were given in all rations shops across the district with police protection. People had gathered in front of all ration shops since 6 am, despite heavy fog. AIADMK functionaries at every ration shop across the district started their unofficial election campaign, as people received the pongal cash and gift hamper....