On Thursday, September 15, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin inaugurated the free breakfast scheme for government school students of Classes I to V at Madurai. In his inaugural speech, Stalin said that in the first phase 1.16 lakh students will be provided free breakfast, as stated in a report by IANS. Stalin said, “This will be further expanded. No one should think that this is a freebie. It’s the duty of the government to do this,” as per IANS. He said that no poor and underprivileged student should drop out of school for the need of food.
The Tamil Nadu government has chosen September 15 to inaugurate the scheme on the birthday of the DMK Founder-Leader and former Chief Minister, late CN Annadurai.
In the first phase, the free breakfast scheme will be implemented in 1,545 schools. The breakfast includes Pongal, Khichdi, and Upma and on Fridays, a sweet will be provided in addition to the regular breakfast which is either rava kesari or semya kesari, as per IANS.
A total of 1,445 schools will be covered under the first phase of the scheme, including 417 schools in municipal corporations, 163 schools in municipalities, 728 schools in village panchayats, and 237 schools in interior areas and hilly areas.
As a reminder, on July 27 Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu MK Stalin announced that the government school children studying in Classes I to V across Tamil Nadu will be offered free breakfast, in addition to the nutritious midday meal that has been provided for years.
In the first phase of the scheme, a total of 1,14,095 students across 1,545 schools in the state have been identified. Of these, Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) has the highest number of beneficiaries.