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Tamil Nadu CM Announced Gift Hampers for over 2 Crore Families

The gift hampers will have 20 essential items including raw rice, jaggery, cashew, resins etc. and will be disbursed to the beneficiaries ahead of Pongal festival.

Ayushi Raina
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin

On November 17, 2021, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin announced gift hampers of Rs.1088 crore for family cardholders and Lankan Tamils residing in rehabilitation camps for the upcoming Pongal festival in January 2022. These hampers will be distributed to a total of 21548060 family cardholders and Lankan Tamil households. 

Raw rice, jaggery, cashew, resins, moong dal, ghee, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander, mustard, cumin, tamarind, cardamom, urad dhal, Bengal gramme, wheat flour, rava, and salt would be included in the gift hampers.

The gift hampers will be distributed to the recipients ahead of the Pongal festival.

Last year also, the Tamil Nadu government plans to introduce the TN Pongal Gift Scheme 2021 for the needy. The Tamil Nadu government offered Pongal Gift Hampers to 2.1 crore rice card users through this initiative. Each Pongal Gift Hamper included  Rs.2,500 in cash, 1 kg of uncooked rice and sugar, a five-foot-long sugarcane, cashews and raisins (20 grams each), and cardamom (5 gm).

The state government set aside Rs.5604.84 crore for the implementation of the Rs.2500 and Gift Hamper for Rice Card holders.

According to a government order issued in this respect, the gift hampers were delivered to all Sri Lankan Tamils living in refugee camps.

Significance of Pongal Festival:

Pongal is celebrated over three days, which are known as Bhogi Pongal, Surya Pongal, and Maatu Pongal. This festival is generally timed to coincide with another harvest festival, Makar Sakranti, which is celebrated throughout India.

Pongal is mainly celebrated at the beginning of the Tai month, which falls on January 14 in the Tamil solar calendar. Pongal refers to the meal that is typically made on this day and signifies 'to boil over or overflow.' The dish requires for a fresh harvest of rice, milk, and jaggery. The food is first presented to the Gods and Goddesses, then to the cows, and last to the family members.

During the celebrations, cows and their horns are decorated. The festivities also include decorating houses with kolam artworks made with rice-powder along with banana leaves. Prayers are offered in the temple and families come together to exchange gifts, have meals and a gala time together.

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