On the 40th Foundation Day of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its President Jagat Prakash Nadda has asked party workers to "give up one meal" to show solidarity with people facing hardships during the COVID-19 lockdown.
In a series of tweets in Hindi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked party workers to follow the directions given by Nadda and help people during the COVID-19 crisis.
भाजपा का 40वां स्थापना दिवस ऐसे समय में आया है, जब देश COVID-19 से लड़ रहा है। मैं कार्यकर्ताओं से आग्रह करता हूं कि वे पार्टी अध्यक्ष @JPNadda जी के दिशानिर्देशों का पालन करें और सोशल डिस्टेंसिंग के साथ जरूरतमंदों की मदद करें। एकजुट होकर भारत को COVID-19 से मुक्त करें। #BJPat40 pic.twitter.com/hvI6ZxNM4B
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 6, 2020
In a message on the occasion, Nadda listed a series of “dos” for party workers that include social distancing during any celebrations for Foundation Day, give up one meal, provide food packets to at least 5 needy individuals, distribute at least two face covers to everyone at the grassroots level, encourage 40 people to donate INR 100 ($1.30) each to the prime minister's PM-CARES fund, etc.
“All BJP Karyakartas (Workers) to give up one meal on our Foundation Day as a way to show solidarity with people facing hardships during the lockdown", Nadda's message reads.
As the country faced an unprecedented situation due to the outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID-19, Prime Minister Modi announced a 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of infection. The abrupt announcement left millions of poor and migrant workers without any jobs or earnings, pushing them to the verge of starvation. Many thousands trudged hundreds of kilometres from their workplaces back to their villages flouting the norms of social distancing.
Several organisations aligned with the BJP have already set up community kitchens across India to feed the poor. In the national capital alone, an ideological ally of BJP - Sewa Bharati feeds about 30,000 people twice daily.
India currently has 4,067 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 66 foreign nationals, while 109 people have lost their lives to the infection, according to data released by the federal Health and Family Welfare Ministry.