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Government Announces Special Pongal Package for People

MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has announced a special Pongal package for over 2 crore families, including Sri Lankan Tamils.

Shikha Parewa
A family celebrating Pongal festival
A family celebrating Pongal festival

As Pongal is about to come, the Central, as well as state governments, are announcing different schemes and packages for the people. On the 4th of January, MK Stalin, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has announced the commencement of a special Pongal package for 2.25 million ration card holders and Sri Lankan Tamils in rehabilitation camps. This initiative would add new enthusiasm to the celebration of Pongal in the state. 

At a meeting held at the State Secretariat, Stalin announced the distribution of the Pongal package which would include 20 grocery items. 

There will be a total of 2,15,48,060 Sri Lankan Tamil families and family cardholders that will receive the hamper. The government will spend 1,088 crores on packages so that the people of the State will be able to celebrate the traditional festival Pongal with the help of this special package. 

As per Government Order (GO) issued on December 20, some of the 20 items are turmeric powder, ghee, yellow dal, cardamom, grapes, alfalfa, cashew, jiggery, rice, lentils, tamarind, pepper, salt, cumin, mustard, coriander powder, chili powder, semolina, and wheat as well as a yellow cloth bag or ‘Manja Pai. 

Last year, the AIADMK government announced a cash component of 2,500 for each cardholder. The DMK regime, which came to power in May of last year, planned it better. This year, they did not declare any cash component as part of the Pongal gift hamper pack. 

The AIADMK, the opposition party, urged the DMK government not to remove the package's monetary component as it would help the pandemic hit people. 

What is Pongal celebrated for and what is its significance? 

It is especially a harvest festival or a "thanksgiving" festival because it is celebrated to thank the Sun God and Lord Indra for assisting farmers in growing higher-yielding crops. People reject old possessions and welcome new ones during the festival. 

As we all know, India is an agricultural country, and the majority of its festivals are centered on nature. The Pongal, like another festival, is known as Uttarayan Punyakalam, which has special significance in Hindu mythology and is considered extremely auspicious. 

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