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Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Thursday released COVID-19 assistance to the tune of Rs. 385 crore for 26 lakh construction workers in the state.

Under this package, every construction worker will get an assistance of Rs 1,500, an official press release said.

The state government had also paid a sum of Rs 1,500 to each construction worker in the state during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

Describing the construction worker as "Biswakarmas" who sacrifice their happiness for the comfort of others, Patnaik said, "No one can deprive poor people of their rights.

The poor have every right to live with dignity.

"They build big buildings with their backs exposed to the scorching Sun. They build good houses for others while staying in inhospitable conditions. On every page of our progress lies a story of the sacrifice and hard work of the workers."

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said, the financial assistance will help alleviate the plight of the construction workers during the pandemic.

Construction workers from all the 314 blocks of the state participated in the programme through video conferencing.

Earlier, Patnaik had announced COVID-19 assistance packages for landless farmers, dairy farmers, street vendors, and other poor people.

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