What are Suraksha Stores? Govt plans 20 lakh retail shops amid COVID-19 Lockdown

Due to the lockdown, people are finding it difficult to stock up on essentials. Hence the government has worked out a means to provide sanitized retail outlets in every neighborhood. These stores are called Suraksha stores, and people can buy their groceries by maintaining social distancing. If the government has to implement this plan successfully throughout the country, it will need the help of the private firms. All this and more can be efficiently carried out adhering correctly to the protocol so that the supply chain isn’t disrupted anywhere along the way.

The restrictions stay in place, and the lockdown extension has to be made viable for the citizens to carry out their normal lives. It would require the basic necessities to be made available for which they don’t have to traverse far and maintain the lockdown requirements. Twenty lakh stores are being opened across the country so that no citizen will be hassled.

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Suraksha stores- essential stores during the lockdown

The neighborhood Kirana stores are being sought for this venture, which then will be sanitized to carry out sales. The top FMCG heads have been consulted so that they will support this venture. Purpose is to carry it out successfully.  The entire supply chain has to monitored from 

  • the point of supply, manufacturing units 
  • to transporting of goods to these outlets

so as to follow the protocol at any point, and there is no instance of the COVID-19 battle compromised.

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The plan is to get these Suraksha stores up and about in 45 days. Each FMCG will be given one or two states to start the ball rolling and get these stores started. This public-private partnership will enable the swifter action in getting the necessities to the people.

What are the RULES to become a Suraksha Store?

There is a mandatory checklist from the health and safety department that has to comply before any Suraksha store gets a go-ahead. The rules are

  • 1.5 meters social distancing (between customers and billing counter as well)
  • Use of sanitizer/ handwash by customers before entering shops
  • Must wear masks (both customers and staff of the provisional stores)
  • Sanitization of heavily touched areas at least twice a day

The Suraksha stores encompass the Suraksha circle, which means that all the norms of hygiene and safety precautions are embedded in the entire process. Several of the FMCG firms have confirmed their participation and endeavored to take this step with the government. So that all the citizens can cautiously step into normalizing some of the daily activities without compromising on safety.

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Before the actual process of setting up such stores, the FMCGs and the staff at the provisional stores will be trained and provided with health kits which will contain

  • Masks
  • Gloves
  • Sanitizers

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This is for the retail outlets, and the bigger industries will have to pass on this to wholesalers and other distributary channels. Each store will also have a sign indicating that it is a Suraksha store. The focus is also on how the rules are applied to the manufacturing unit. So that the production chain is nowhere contaminated anywhere right from production until it reaches the consumer’s hands. For this, to function, the manufacturing plant would have to adopt a certain number of small and medium enterprises, which will be a big number when considering the number of products. They all have to come under the Suraksha circle. There is an online training certification program for those who are interested in being part of this Suraksha stores and Suraksha circle awareness endeavor. It will contain the protocols that have to curtail COVID-19 spread and the supply of the essential commodities.

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