The vaccine for the global COVID-19 pandemic is a far fetched dream for super powers across the world and while thousands of migrant workers in India walked back to their home villages from cities on empty stomachs for days, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal bragged about how the country is combating the coronavirus “without a single person starving.” While there are widespread fears of the pandemic turning into a humanitarian catastrophe, Goyal asserted that the government ensured there was no starvation during the coronavirus crisis in the country even as millions of India’s daily wagers continue to remain out of food and work due to the prolonged nationwide lockdown. Also Read - Work From Home Woes: Anand Mahindra Shares Meme Showing His Frustration With Webinars, Calls It 'Webinarcoma'
In a Times of Indiaevent, the Union Minister said, “We have gone through the entire three months without a single person starving. That’s not just the effort of centre or state governments. It is the effort of 130 crore Indians”. At the global online conference on ‘COVID-19: Jaan Bhi, Jahan Bhi’, Goyal called upon the G20 nations and assured them about access to essential medicines, treatments and vaccines at affordable prices. Also Read - Cricket is a Social Game, Will be Interesting How Players Deal With New Guidelines:: Kumar Sangakkara
He said, “We offer full support to any global engagements to further this cause. Staying true to our tradition of ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam‘ – the world is one big family. India has unconditionally provided medical supplies to over 120 countries to combat this disease, of which 43 countries received it as a grant. We are also sharing our medical and public health expertise and capacity with them, using digital technologies.” Also Read - Virat Kohli Sixth Highest Earning Athlete on Instagram During Lockdown, Earned Rs 3.62 Crore
Angry at the indifference of the Goyal, who also helms the Union Ministry Commerce & Industry, the Twitterati slammed his statement. While one user wrote, “As temperature soars, Piyush Goyal must walk few KMs/stand in a queue to understand how it feels in this heat. Think how dimwitted this man is to say that ‘India has ensured there is no starvation’ (sic)”, another tweeted, “How insensitive of you Mr. Piyush Goyal. 516 non-covid deaths have been reported since #lockdown but the actual numbers could be higher as many cases go unreported. The deaths are mainly due to starvation, accident, suicide out of stress, financial crisis (sic)” and yet another lashed, “mriti Irani says 80 crore people have been provided ration by this govt. Piyush Goyal says nobody in India is starving. India is seeing some of her darkest days thanks to them and all they have to offer is blatant, ridiculous lies. Absolutely monstrous (sic).”
Check out Twitter’s reaction on Piyush Goyal’s statement here:
The starting of the special ‘shramik’ trains to ferry migrants back to their native places by the Centre, threw all the limelight on Piyush Goyal. At the same conference that he spoke, Kaushik Basu, the former World Bank chief economist and India’s chief economic advisor, intervened and contradicted Goyal by saying, “The immediate concern should be the hundreds of thousands who are walking hundreds of miles only to go home, those who are walking in large groups but are all alone. If this Rs 20 lakh crore were an additional amount this should be enough. People who are scraping through the details are saying that it is not additional and it includes what RBI has done. If the additional amount is half (of what is announced) it is not enough.”