Rajasthan implemented lockdown days before other states, as the nation now steps in lockdown 2.0 the state is already prepped up for the situation. The state government to have implemented an 11 day lockdown on March 22, had planned it through for an extended period of time. An advance payment of social security pension and provision of support to even those that were outside any of the existing government schemes enabled to ensure much needed support to more than 78 lakh families.
These families, constitute nearly a third of the state population and in the unprecedented circumstances government even reached out to those needy people who were not registered under any existing welfare scheme. The government took in account the marginalised people residing on streets and surviving on begging and stray jobs. The state Social Justice and Empowerment department rolled out a detailed plan to ensure that Rs 2000 crore relief package announced by chief minister Ashok Gehlot on March 23 reaches to its righteous beneficiaries. It has thus ensure that these people have some financial stability to last through April in case of lockdown extension.
“The social security pension for April was paid along with that of March through direct bank transfer, poor families other than those under social security pension have also been extended ex-gratia of up to Rs 2500 in two phases,” says principal secretary Social Justice and empowerment, Akhil Arora.
There are 78.65 lakh beneficiaries under the social security pension, the state spent a total Rs 1,400 crore on their pension. In addition 34 lakh other families, including elderly, differently abled people and BPL families, street vendors, registered construction workers, rickshaw pullers and all those without a social security net were issued the Rs 2,500 financial aide costing the state Rs 814 crore.
In order to ensure that everyone is benefitted and no one gets the undue advantage, the people outside social pension cover were divided into four categories,
1) Those BPL, state BPL and Antoday beneficiary families that do not have any member on the social security pension list.
2) Registered construction workers that are not in the BPL, state BPL and Antoday scheme.
3) Street vendors excluding those in the above two categories.
4) all other destitute
Through planning not only has helped these people to survive through the lockdown and save themselves from COVID infection, but it has also contributed by large to the success of the lockdown. Substantial financial support and availability of food supplies kept these people from stepping outside to fulfill the basic needs. The government to have ensured this sustainability beyond the initially implemented lockdown has kept the people prepared even as the nation steps in the second phase of lockdown.