Trichy/Madurai: There was a huge rush for Pongal hampers distributed through ration shops across the state as cardholders without tokens and those with tokens for another date also queued up on Monday. In the central districts, about 32.6 lakh family cardholders received the hampers through 5,817 ration shops. The process will continue till January 13. Most of the southern districts completed distributing hampers to just over 15% of their cardholders on the first day.
“I shifted from the address which is mentioned in my card, so there was no way I would get the token. I took an auto and came early to receive the gift,” said Shankaran of Pudur in Madurai. Many like him were told by the workers that they should come and collect their gifts on January 13, but they continued to demand that it be given to them.
Family cardholders have to receive the hamper on the date specified on the token. Pongal gift packages will be given to 100 people in the morning and 100 in the afternoon in ration shops till January 13. In many shops, the entire day’s quota was over in the morning session itself. Cardholders are given Rs 2,500 along with 1kg each of raw rice and sugar, one whole sugarcane, 20g each of raisins and cashews, and 5g of cardamom.
In Trichy 8.4 lakh cardholders will receive the hamper through 1,225 shops. Tourism minister Vellamandi N Natarajan inaugurated the process at an event held in Trichy. In Madurai, 8.9 lakh cardholders will receive the hamper.
Meanwhile, 50 DMK cadres headed by party’s union council chairman Jayaprakash staged a road roko demanding to remove a flux board erected by AIADMK functionaries in front of a ration shop at Darghas village near Kollidam in Mayiladuthurai district. On information, Pudupattinam police rushed to the spot and removed the banner and booked the DMK cadres for staging the protest.