Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin on Thursday inaugurated the free breakfast scheme for the government school students of Classes 1 to 5 at Madurai.
The Chief Minister in his inaugural speech said that in the first phase 1.16 lakh students will be provided free breakfast. Stalin said, “This will be further expanded. No one should think that this is a freebie. It’s the duty of the government to do this.” He said that no poor and underprivileged student should drop out of school for the need of food.
The Tamil Nadu government has chosen September 15 for inaugurating the scheme as this is the birthday of the DMK founder leader and former Chief Minister, Late C.N. Annadurai.
In the first phase, the free breakfast scheme will be implemented in 1,545 schools. The free breakfast includes Pongal, Kichdi, Upma and on Fridays, a sweet will be provided in addition to the regular breakfast which is either rava kesari or semya kesari.
A total of 417 schools located in Municipal corporations, 163 schools in municipalities, 728 schools in village panchayats, and 237 schools in interiors of the state and hilly areas will be covered under the first phase of the scheme. Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme launch in Tamil Nadu Scheme not a freebie, but duty of State to feed its children, says CM Stalin
Chennai Corporation Budget 2022 Breakfast
During the Chennai Corporation Budget Mayor Priya announced Breakfast program which was being implemented in 23 schools in Chennai will be expanded.
History of the scheme
The significant breakfast scheme has been rolled out after 102 years, when P. Theagaraya Chetty, the then President of the Corporation (Mayor) of the Justice Party approved the proposal to provide tiffin to students of a Corporation School at Thousand Lights, Chennai, said Mr. Stalin while tracing the history of providing food to government school students.
The scheme, in due course, was improved upon by former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj who introduced mid-day meals for government primary schools, followed by former Chief Ministers M. G. Ramachandran, M. Karunanidhi, and Jayalalithaa, who extended the program’s coverage to anganwadis, introduced boiled eggs and included variety meals respectively, he said. A book titled ‘Nootrandu Kanda Kalvi Puratchi,’ on the scheme was also released as part of the event.
Akshaya Patra Foundation
In 2020, Former Chief Minister Edapadi Palanisami signed an MoU with Akshaya Patra Foundation to provide a free breakfast for school children. During the inauguration Rs 5 crore was handed by CM Palaniswami and Governor over to Akshaya Patra Foundation, to build a centralized kitchen for providing nutritional breakfast to Corporation school students
The CM further said that the kitchen in Greams Road would be in an area of 20,000 sq ft and cater to 12,000 students while the one in Perambur Barracks Road will be in 35,000 sq ft and cater to 15,000 students. Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam, who was also present on the occasion, said currently nutritional food is being provided to 50 lakh students from 43,283 schools.