Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Amma canteens which were introduced in Chennai city some weeks ago seem to be catching up like a wild fire in Tamil Nadu (T.N) evidenced by the overwhelming response of the public, especially from economically poorer section of the Society. Buoyed up by the run away success of this welfare program, the government expanded the coverage to other cities and more such  canteens have been opened recently. One must applaud the these initiatives by the progressive Chief Minister and one can only hope that other states also would follow her example. Here is a take on this new phenomenon which will surely bring lot of political benefits to the ruling party in the state in future elections for which no body has a right to grudge! 

Ms Jayalalithaa launched the "Amma Unavagams" in Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tiruppur, Tuticorin, Vellore and Erode through video conferencing from the state secretariat, an official release said. The nine corporations will have 10 canteens each. She also launched the addition of new items such as 'Pongal' for breakfast and curry-leaf rice and lemon rice for lunch in the 200 canteens which are run in Chennai.'Amma' canteens offer affordable breakfast and lunch for the welfare of daily wagers, auto and rickshaw drivers, vendors and other floating population in these corporations across the state. First launched in Chennai offering idlies at Re one a piece and sambar and curd rices at Rs. 5 and Rs. 3 respectively, these canteens became an instant hit among the consumers, who pleaded for addition of new items in the menu.

What is amazing is that the range of dishes served by these eateries is reasonably versatile while the prices are ridiculously low, more, easily affordable even to the poorest of the poor. However one disturbing question that remains unanswered so far is why should any one work at all if cereals are supplied at Rs1-3 per kg and Amma canteens provide hot food at Rs1-5 per item? It has been reported that people from T. N were in the fore front when it comes to working in many other states and to day one can hardly see a person from this state as all of them have migrated back to the state to live with their families comfortably without raising a finger to do any job! It is not that all of them would sit quite without working though the "sitting idle" may be the norm! Already free Television sets, free gas connections and other freebies are distrubuted by successive administrations. One wonders if only government can provide low cost alcoholic drinks and free housing, Tamil Nadu would be the best state to be borne in future!.  


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