New Delhi: In a bid to keep people indoors during the lockdown, the Thazhekkode Grama Panchayat in Malappuram district of Kerala has decided to hold a contest wherein it will reward families with exciting prizes such as gold, refrigerators, washing machines etc. The first prize – half a sovereign of gold, second prize – a refrigerator, third prize – a washing machine and 50 complimentary prizes would be given when the lockdown ends. Also Read - Govt Fixes 12-16 Weeks Gap Between 2 Covishield Doses on Expert Grounds, Scientists Say ‘Never Backed it’

AK  Nasar, president of the grama panchayat said he felt that he needed to reward people who follow the guidelines.
“This plan was decided on April 6 and the next day it became effective. There are around 10,000 families in our panchayat. We wanted people to remain safe and stay indoors and for that we decided to reward them. We have set up people to observe all those who venture out of their homes and the families of those who come out, will be ruled out,” said Nasar. Also Read - Who Will be Kerala Police's New Chief? Here's How Things Stand

“By now the lockdown has been extended and now we will take a call on when the contest should end. Most probably, we feel this contest will end on May 3. This will be decided by our panchayat. Once the contest ends, we will ask for an affidavit from all those who come claiming that none in their family have ventured out. Coupons will be given to all such families and the winners will be selected through a lucky draw,” news agency IANS quoted Nasar as saying. Also Read - Acidity or Bloating? Do NOT Ignore These Stomach Signals

On the other hand, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan yesterday sought a comprehensive financial package from the Centre to tide over the damages that COVID-19 has inflicted on the state.

In Monday’s video conference meet of the Prime Minister with state Chief Ministers, Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose represented Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan since it was the smaller states that presented their position before Prime Minister Narendra Modi.