Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said free grocery kits will be distributed to all ration card holders in the state from August 13, ahead of the Onam festivities. Around 88 lakh ration card holders are expected to benefit.
Around 2,000 packaging centres have been arranged for ensuring smooth operation of the distribution, the chief minister said during his sunset media briefing on Tuesday.
The total expense for the distribution of free Onam kit is estimated at Rs 450 crore.
The kit will include 11 items. In addition, 10 kg rice will be distributed in August at Rs 15 per kg rate to non-priority sections, the chief minister had said earlier.
The grocery kit will contain sugar, green gram, kidney beans, jaggery, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, sambar powder, coconut oil, sunflower oil, pappad, vermicelli palada and broken wheat.
The kits will be distributed through ration shops.
In the beginning, the kit will be distributed to Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) yellow card holders, from August 13 to 16. Following this, priority household pink card holders will be provided with the kit from August 19 to 22. Rest of the card holders (blue and white) will receive the kit ahead of Onam.
Supplyco open 'Onam market' in all districts between August 21 and 31, he added.
During the COVID-19 lockdown period, the government had distributed a kit containing 17 items.
Thiruvonam, which marks the most important day of the 10-day Onam festivities, falls on August 31 this year. The harvest festival coincides with the New Year as per the traditional solar Malayalam calendar called Kollavarsham which has been in existence since 825 AD.