From Modi Kits To Mangrove Planting – Lok Sabha MPs List Their Covid Achievements

New Delhi: The new publication is outlining the role played by the Lower House during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the publication oxygen langars, expenditure under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme, commemoration of seven years of Narendra Modi as prime minister, and planting of mangrove trees — these are among the “best practices” listed.

The book is titled, ‘Members of Lok Sabha standing with the citizens innovation and best practices during the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-21)’. The book has been brought by the Lok Sabha secretariat. It is an abbreviated compilation of works that the MPs themselves listed as their contributions towards alleviation of public suffering during the pandemic.

From West Bengal TMC MP, Pratima Mondal, has listed blood donation camps and her work during the cyclones Amphan and Yaas (both of which had caused widespread destruction in eastern parts of India during the second wave). However, her list of achievements also includes “ensuring more tree coverage at the shores” by planting “10,000 mangrove saplings” under the ‘Save Sundarban’ drive.

Bankura MP and Union Minister of State for Education Subhash Sarkar also listed his work during the Yaas cyclone among his Covid achievements, apart from distribution of relief items by the Bharat Sevashram Sangha — a Hindu organisation focusing on humanitarian work — in several assembly constituencies in his area.

BJP MP from Bihar’s Sasaram, Chhedi Paswan, cited a Rs 1 crore donation from the MPLADS fund, a contribution of Rs 1 lakh from his own pocket to the PM’s National Relief Fund, and an appeal to the public to use the Aarogya Setu app, among his achievements.  

Under name of PM Modi, distribution of relif material was the favorite task among the BJP MPs. In her submission, Vadodara MP Ranjanben Dhananjay Bhatt has listed, apart from distribution of ration kits to railway porters and setting up of a ‘Namo Covid isolation centre’, the giving out of ration to “177 differently abled people… on the completion of seven years of Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi at the Centre”.

South Delhi BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri declared that he had “distributed 21,000 Modi kits containing ration and other essentials to poor families and provided cooked food to approximately 1,51,000 needy people through the 21 Modi kitchens established in my constituency during Covid”.

Ranchi MP Sanjay Seth said he distributed “21,768 packets of Namo Bhojan” to Covid patients in home isolation. “More than 1,20,0000 packets of Modi Aahar (dry ration) were distributed to the poor and needy across various rural areas,” reads the page under his name. He also distributed “8,750 packets of Namo medicine (paracetamol, vitamin C, multivitamin, zinc)”.

There was a health infrastructure shortage in the country. Many of the MPs have listed purchasing of health equipment as their big achievement. 

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor mentioned purchase of a thermal imaging camera for the Thiruvananthapuram airport, dialysis equipment, infrared thermometers and RT-PCR testing kits among the services he rendered to his constituents during the pandemic.

Jammu MP Jugal Kishore Sharma said he allocated Rs 1 crore from MPLAD funds for oxygen plants in Samba and Rajouri to be made functional. Devji Patel, MP from Jalore, Rajasthan, said he facilitated the import of 50 oxygen concentrators from Singapore for Covid patients in his constituency.

Suresh Kumar Pujari, MP from Odisha’s Bargarh, mentioned in his achievements that he had opened an oxygen bank in his area.

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