Of the fundamental needs for a human being namely food, clothing and shelter; food comes first. Over the past few years, the rising cost of food including vegetables, grains, pulses, fruits etc have made it difficult to make ends meet, even for the so called middle class families. Considering the job climate, cash flow challenges and increasing cost of food – it is not beyond normal intelligence to wonder how the poor and the poverty stricken live in this country.
While this thought may have crossed many a minds, I wonder how many actually managed to turn this into action. In recent times, government schemes have always been on giving goodies to select group of people in the hope of political alignment. While politics can never be removed from society, unthought through actions while benefiting politically may not deliver the actual benefit intended for the chosen audience. Examples of these include freebies like bicycles, laptop, tablets, grinders etc
But I must agree that this scheme called ‘Amma Unavagam’ is probably way different from many others mentioned above. Under this scheme the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, Dr. J. Jayalalitha has begun opening food canteens which will serve meals at highly subsidized prices. One must look at the price list to believe that quality food can be hygienically cooked and neatly delivered at these prices! http://www.ammaunavagam.com/index.html
While the intention of the scheme is to enable the really poor of the society gain access to a few meals every day, it is not surprising that a lot more beyond the poor seem to have also embraced and benefited from this scheme. After a long time we are beginning to see rave reviews and praises for a government scheme from the public across all sections.
The socio-economic benefits arising out of this scheme go well beyond just serving subsidized meals.
- They also provide jobs, thereby reducing unemployment
- They create healthier people, thereby reducing sickness and malnutrition
- They possibly will reduce social disorder as many a times it is done for the sake of the belly
In my opinion after the mid day meal scheme launched in the eighties by the then Chief Minister Dr. M.G Ramachandran of AIADMK, Amma Unavagam launched by the current Chief Minister Dr. Jayalalitha is one that is going to be revolutionary for party, state and in similar lines at national level (for states that would adopt this). I am sure this scheme will grow to serve the people of the state while also acting as an example for other parts of the country to emulate. This goes to prove that if political leaders running government want to help the people they can! It also shows that if the government intends to do something, nothing can stop it!
Hence it is the intention of the political leadership coupled with strong strategic planning that can help devise and implement wise schemes that can truly develop and improve the lives of the people.