More Indira Amma canteens to come up in Uttarakhand
Dehradun: Weeks after chief minister Harish Rawat launched the state-sponsored Indira Amma Bhojanalay Scheme in Dehradun to make subsidized and nutritious meals available to all at Rs 20 per plate, the government is contemplating on introducing the scheme across the state, on seeing its popularity.
This was the first initiative of its kind in the state. It was begun on an experimental basis on Independence Day this year. But given the quality of food served and the cheap rates, the demand for the meals has been soaring.
At least 40,000 people have benefited from this scheme in Dehradun so far. Among those arriving for a meal here are elderly people, some of whom have been returning regularly. The fare served is the traditional mandua ki roti with pahari ghee, jhanghora ki kheer, bhatt ki chutkani and chaunsa, contained in a thali. The scheme is named after former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
“We had launched the scheme to give relief to the people by providing them low-cost and delicious meals that they cannot get elsewhere at Rs20. In just weeks, the demand for these meals soared. This has come as something of a surprise,” said a senior IAS officer of the Woman Empowerment and Child Welfare department.
After surprise checks by senior officials on Monday and Tuesday revealed how popular the scheme had become, principal secretary (food) Radha Raturi asked her subordinates to increase the quota of rations for these meals. There is at present just one such Amma canteen at Ghantghar, more are planned in the next couple of days.
CM Rawat, who was instrumental in introducing the scheme, had aimed also at boosting the agro-based economy of the state through it. He said this remained his top-most priority area.