The administration of the mosque ensures social distancing while preparing the meals in a hygienic way. PHOTO: TOI

Mosque in Mumbai distributes free meals to labourers amid COVID-19 lockdown

Shutdown affects lives of 300 million Indians living below the poverty line

News Desk April 14, 2020
With a strict lockdown imposed to spread the coronavirus threatening jobs in India, a mosque in Mumbai is serving meals to 800 labourers who have lost their livelihoods.

The lockdown has affected the lives of 300 million Indians living below the poverty line.

Situated in the suburb of Mumbai's Sakinaka area, the mosque, Jama Masjid Ahle Hadis has opened its door for anyone who is suffering financially or had lost their job and is willing to eat or take ration to their homes, The Times of India reported.

It is also providing ration of rice and pulses to people in nearby localities, said Maulana Atif Sanabali of the Jama Masjid Ahle Hadis, located on Khairani road.

"Like COVID-19, hunger is also a serious disorder and affects everyone irrespective of religion. Our motto is `koi bhukha na soye'' (nobody should go to bed hungry)," he said.

The administration of the mosque ensures social distancing while preparing the meals in a hygienic way.

Indian PM extends lockdown to May 3 as coronavirus cases cross 10,000

India, with over 1.3 billion of population, has extended the nationwide lockdown until May 3 which has brought financial difficulties in the lives of 300 million people living below the poverty lines.

The COVID-19 tally in India is on the rise despite a strict lockdown 'Janta  Curfew' that was initially imposed on March 22 for 21 days. The number of people infected with coronavirus reached 10,363, according to government data on Tuesday, of whom 339 have died.

India PM on Tuesday announced an extension in the lockdown until May 3.

"From the economic angle, we have paid a big price," Modi said. "But the lives of the people of India are far more valuable."

"From the experiences of the last few days, it is clear that the path we have chosen is correct."

(with additional reporting from AFP)