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COVID-19: Govt sanctions Rs 10-cr special funds for CRPF; 'madadgaar' helpline expanded


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Union Home Ministry has granted a special Rs 10-crore fund to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), enabling it undertake relief works for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.
The money, as per a March 30 home ministry order, accessed by PTI, is meant "to procure COVID-19 preventive items."

Officials said a proposal to carry out relief works and providing essential commodities to those displaced or affected by the ongoing lockdown in view of the viral disease outbreak was first made by the paramilitary force on March 25 after which the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) granted the sanction.
The sanction for financial year 2019-20 has been made under the 'civic action programme' head to the country's largest CAPF that has about 3.25 lakh personnel in its ranks.
CRPF Director General A P Maheshwari told PTI that the fund will be utilised to procure protective masks, sanitisers, food items and other essentials required by the people.
"All the CRPF formations in the country have been asked to step up their action and identify the population and areas in their vicinity who need help."

"The force is on a mission mode to help the citizens of the country in these challenging times," the CRPF chief said.
Maheshwari added that the force has received the Rs 10 crore fund from the MHA and this money will be used effectively to deal with the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak.
The force has also scaled up its Kashmir-based helpline called 'madadgaar' to make it services available to the distressed and needy across the country.
A senior official said staffers and family members of other Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) have also approached the helpline and are being assisted for delivery of essential items and dissemination of information.
The 'madadgaar' helpline number 14411 has received about 2,500 calls and got over 2.5 lakh impressions on its various social media platforms where people sought help in the wake of the viral disease outbreak and the subsequent lockdown imposed in the country from March 25.
The helpline will now work in close coordination with other CAPFs and state authorities to help the needy, the DG said.
Launched in July, 2017, the helpline has recently floated a new WhatsApp number- 7082814411- for the public.
"We have increased the manpower of the helpline and are further bolstering its capabilities," Maheshwari said.
As per the latest data, the 'madadgaar' received 2,388 calls seeking information about COVID-19 basic information, testing laboratories and quarantine centres, 87 requesting supply of rations, 35 for supply of medicines, dialysis and blood donation, 35 from families of CAPF personnel, 27 for counselling and assistance and 11 for medical consultation.

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First Published: Mar 31 2020 | 4:06 PM IST

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