Cue from Jaya,s Amma Canteen
Cue from Jaya,s Amma Canteen, hot meal scheme in tamilnadu, Amma Canteen, Jayalalithaa. It’s not just the food in the canteen which grabbed the eyeballs. The day-to-day activities at all the centers are managed by women’s self-help groups. Each is paid Rs 300 a day.
The hot meal scheme launched by the GHMC mirrors the immensely popular subsidised meal scheme in Tamil Nadu. Christened as Amma Canteen, the scheme was launched by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in 2013, to serve nutritious food at an affordable price, without compromising on hygiene. Though the scheme was primarily aimed to serve the labour class and Below the Poverty Line (BPL) families, the canteen became an instant hit among children, teachers and even corporates. Unlike the GHMC, which right now only serves rice, dal or sambar, vegetables and pickle, for Rs 5, Amma Canteen has a variety of items on its menu. Idly is served for a rupee each, curd-rice is priced at Rs 3 per plate, lemon-rice, curry leaves-rice and pongal is served for Rs 5 and chapattis (per piece) and dal is sold for Rs 3 for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from food, the customers are served purified drinking water. The administration also ensures that the canteens do not offer take-away to check re-sale of the food for gain.
It’s not just the food in the canteen which grabbed the eyeballs. The day-to-day activities at all the centers are managed by women’s self-help groups. Each is paid Rs 300 a day. Though the scheme was started in Chennai, its immense popularity ensured that it was extended to nine other cities in Tamil Nadu. Political observers noted that this was Jayalaithaa’s strategy to build a strong voter base in the state. Taking a cue from Jayalalithaa, the scheme is now being implemented in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and by the newly formed BJP government in Rajasthan.