In an effort to prevent hunger and nutritional deficiency among children, Chief Minister MK Stalin launched a breakfast scheme for government school students from class one to five on Thursday (September 15). While inaugurating the programme, the CM mentioned that such a scheme would bring beneficial change in the lives of impoverished people.
He added that similar initiatives have already been implemented in the United States (US) and Europe. According to officials, the free breakfast scheme in government schools across Tamil Nadu will improve learning skills and school attendance.
Scheme To Benefit Over 1 Lakh Students
CM Stalin, citing iconic leaders such as Periyar E V Ramasamy, C N Annadurai and M Karunanidhi, said that their vision was that nothing should become an obstacle to accessing education, and we are experiencing boundless joy in fulfilling their dreams.
The breakfast scheme, which has a Rs 33.56 crore allocation, will be implemented across more than 1,500 schools in the first phase, benefitting almost 1 lakh 15 thousand students.
The scheme was launched at the Aadhinoolam Corporation Primary School in Madurai by preparing and serving food to the students. Notably, the CM sat on the floor with the students to enjoy the day's first meal.
Free-Meal System For School Students
The social reformer, Pandithar Iyothee Thassar, when the Colonel Olcott School was built in Chennai during the early 1990s, sowed the seeds for providing mid-day meals to school children. Later, Mayor Pitti Theagarayar of the Justice Party launched the noon meal in a Chennai Corporation school.
CM Stalin mentioned that former CM K Kamaraj also inaugurated the noon meal scheme in 1995, after which the lunch scheme became prominent in state-run schools of Tamil Nadu. CM Stalin learned that many students used to come for studies at schools without having breakfast. Considering such a situation, he added that no student should be taught when they are hungry.
Not An Expenditure But Govt's Duty!
The CM said, "The expenditure is Rs 12.75 per child per day, and I am using the word spending in the administrative sense. Truly, this is not expenditure, and this is our government's duty and my duty. I assure you that all steps will be taken for phased extension of the scheme and its comprehensive implementation," Times Now reported.
After the launch of the free breakfast scheme, the opposition termed it another 'freebie' for the state. In the reply, the government said that such schemes are not freebies as this is our responsibility to provide free cost service to the students. In Tamil, the scheme is named "Mudalamaicharin Kalai Unavu Thittam (Chief Minister's Breakfast Scheme)."
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