Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday launched the Indira Rasoi Yojana which aims to provide subsidised meals to the poor and needy at Rs 8 per plate.
Former CM Vasundhara Raje had initially launched the Annapurna Rasoi Yojana in December 2016 which, as per the Gehlot government, ‘expired’ on March 31 this year and hence a fresh scheme has been launched.
Under the Indira Rasoi Yojana, meals will be provided to the poor and needy at Rs 8, “which will be served while maintaining full dignity,” the state government said in a statement. The scheme was launched to mark ‘Sadbhavana Diwas’, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and is named after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Though each plate will be priced at Rs 20, the state government will grant a subsidy of Rs 12 per plate with an estimated expenditure of Rs 100 crore every year.
As part of the scheme, each plate will have 100 grams of pulses, 100 grams of vegetables, 250 grams of chapati and pickles. The scheme targets to serve food to 1.34 lakh people per day in the state.
Gehlot launched 325 out of 358 kitchens – through video conferencing — which have been started in 213 urban bodies.
“Great leader and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi worked for the welfare of poor, backward, deprived and helpless people and gave the slogan of ‘Garibi Hatao’. She started a 20-point programme and launched a successful campaign such as Green Revolution to make India self-reliant in food grains. Hence, the state government has named the scheme after her,” Gehlot said at the launch.
Gehlot also spoke to representatives of voluntary organisations, who manage the Indira Rasoi, as well as beneficiaries from Jodhpur, Jaipur, Rajsamand, Ganganagar, Sirohi, Bharatpur, Kota, Banswara, etc. He expressed his “gratitude” to voluntary organisations supporting the scheme and said that Indira Rasoi is a big step towards fulfilling the government’s pledge of ‘No One Sleeps Hungry’. Besides the efforts of the state government, the way voluntary organisations have come forward to provide food to needy people with the spirit of service at the time of corona is really praiseworthy, he added.
“People will be respectfully seated and served fresh and nutritious food in Indira Rasoi scheme,” Urban Development Minister Shanti Dhariwal said. He said that special attention will be paid on the quality of the food as well as ensuring online monitoring to maintain complete transparency in the scheme and that the menu of the food will be as per local taste instead of serving the same food at all places.
In a presentation, Secretary, Department of Local Self Government, Bhawani Singh Detha said that the scheme is being started on priority at crowded places such as railway stations, bus stands and hospitals. He said 20 kitchens will be started in Jaipur Municipal Corporation area, 16 each in Kota and Jodhpur, 10 kitchens each in Ajmer, Bikaner and Udaipur, 5 in Bharatpur Municipal Corporation area, three each in 34 municipal councils and one kitchen each in 169 municipalities.
In December 2016, Vasundhara Raje had launched the Annapurna Rasoi Yojana where breakfast was provided at Rs 5, while lunch and dinner was served for Rs 8 each. The scheme was aimed at “labourers, rickshaw pullers, auto-rickshaw drivers, students, working women, senior citizens, and others.”
In a statement earlier, Raje had said, “Expert in changing the names of our schemes, the Congress has renamed the Annapurna Rasoi as Indira Rasoi Yojana. But at least better late than never. Even if it took renaming but at the end due to the demand of the public they had to start our Annapurna Rasoi Yojana. The government should change itself rather than names otherwise the public will change everything.”