Shiv Sena is going to launch a pilot project of Rs 10 meal scheme for the poor. The affordable meal scheme is part of the Shiv Sena-Nationalist Congress Party-Congress’ Maha Vikas Aghadi government’s official common minimum programme and will formally be launched sometime next month by the state government.
The event will coincide with Dr Ambedkar Mahaparinirwan Divas or the 63rd death anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar.
Calling it a pilot project, Jagdish S. Shetty, a former Deputy Vibhag Pramukh of Shiv Sena that it has been launched in view of the demands from the poor sections of society.
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar will inaugurate the ‘Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Anna-rath’, a vehicle from where the Rs 10 meal will be served to the needy and marginalized.
The meal will be known as ‘Shiv Thali’ and it would consist of three chapatis, a vegetable dish, a portion of rice-dal/curry and a sweets preparation. The menu will be changed every day.
The scheme will be run by Shetty’s Shree Swami Charitable Trust and depending on the public response it will be extended to other areas.
The scheme was also a part of the Shiv Sena’s manifesto during the October 2019 assembly elections and when Shiv Sena decided to join hands with the Congress-NCP alliance the scheme was assimilated into the MVA’s common minimum programme due to its potential mass outreach among the urban poor and rural population.
Experimenting with food subsidization programme by state governments in India is not new and has been quite popular in states where it was launched.
If Tamil Nadu had Amma Unavagam or Amma Canteen, Andhra Pradesh had Anna canteens. While Amma canteen was bleeding money due to its low-cost model the Jagan Reddy government closed TDP’s flagship Anna canteens due to non-renewal of its contract with the Akshaya Patra Foundation.