Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy disbursed Rs 1.88 crore to poor and needy families during the day-long third edition of his mass contact programme that concluded here around midnight Friday.
"I gave out financial assistance from the Chief Minister`s Relief Fund to 1,692 people. A total of 21,857 petitions were received online and another 6,900 were collected on the spot," Chandy told a news agency on the phone Saturday morning while on his way to a public function in Pathanamthitta district.
He said the grievance of each petitioner who attended the event, held at the Central Stadium, would be addressed, adding he was happy he could do something for the common man.
At least 131 petitioners who were wrongly classified in the above poverty line category were switched to the below poverty line category, an official said.
Thirteen applicants were given land and eight disabled got special vehicles for commuting.
Replying to the Left opposition`s criticism that it was a sad scene to see many disabled people coming on stretchers to get financial assistance, Chandy said: "We never asked such people to come and meet us. Those who did, came on their own."
The Left had staged a protest near the stadium against what has come to known as the solar scam but sensing this would be counterproductive, decided to wind it up after a few hours.
Chandy received the prestigious UN Global Award for Public Service in Bahrain June 27 for his mass contact initiative.
The programme would be conducted in all the 13 other districts of the state. The next is scheduled at Ernakulam Oct 25 and the last at Idukki Dec 9.