Aizawl: Amid the pain and gloom during the coronavirus pandemic, stories of good Samaritans are coming to the fore from across the world. These people are selflessly helping others in these trying times without expecting anything in return.
Mizoram, too, witnessed such ‘Samaritan acts’ on several occasions, which received accolades from people across the Internet.
The noble acts of sports minister Robert Romawia Royte and former minister C Vulluaia in providing food to the poor and needy persons are no exception.
Royte, who was elected from Aizawl East-II constituency in the 2018 assembly polls, has announced that he will bear the ration expenses of over 11,000 poor people living within his constituency for eight months from his own savings and not from government funds.
There are 11,087 beneficiaries from several families, who hold Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) or “poorest of poor” and Priority Household (PHH) or Below Poverty Line ration cards in seven localities within Aizawl East-II constituency for availing subsidised food grains from public distribution system under the National Food Security Act (NFSA).
The minister said that he would bear the ration expenses of 11,087 AAY and PHH beneficiaries irrespective of party affiliation.
He would meet the expenses for eight months from May to December through his monthly salary he saved for helping the needy and not from the MLA area development fund.
The minister has already borne the May quota.
Aizawl East-II is the worst COVID-19 affected constituency in Mizoram.
Royte, who is also the owner of Aizawl Football Club, the first football club from Northeast to win I-League in 2016-2017, said that he has been saving his monthly salary for the poor since he was elected to the state assembly in 2018.
“The ration expenses would solely be met from monthly salary. I have been saving my MLA salary, which I kept aside for helping the poor since the beginning. MLA funds are meant for other development,” the 55-year-old leader said.
He said that he would spend around Rs 15 lakh for the purchase of 4,89,120 kg of rice for eight months. He would continue with the good cause if necessary, he added.
Apart from sports, Royte also holds Information and Communication Technology, and Tourism in the present Mizo National Front (MNF) government.
Meanwhile, former law minister and prominent journalist C Vulluaia also assisted over 500 poor families within his locality Dawrpui Vengthar in Aizawl by bearing their ration expenses for May.
The food crisis triggered by coronavirus induced lockdown and the hesitancy on the the poor residents to reveal their hardship have moved the leader for the noble act, family sources said.
Vulluaia, 85, who is now battling with Alzheimer’s disease, was elected to the state assembly in 1978, 1979 and 1993.