Who initiated the Breakfast Scheme? AIADMK? or DMK?

M.K. Stalin launched the “Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme” at Adhimulam Municipal Corporation Primary School, Madurai, which provides breakfast to Tamil Nadu government school students.

People belonging to the BJP claim that the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme was introduced when Edappadi Palaniswami was the Chief Minister during AIADMK regime and is being implemented now with a DMK sticker on it.

Scheme initiated by Edappadi Palaniswami

During Edappadi Palaniswami’s tenure as Chief Minister, a free breakfast scheme was launched for students in a corporation school in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai by the then Governor of Tamil Nadu Banwarilal Purohit on February 29, 2019.

Considering the poor students studying in government schools, Chennai Corporation and ‘Akshaya Patra’ Charitable Organization jointly launched this scheme.

The Akshaya Patra Charity Organization mentioned that this project plans to provide breakfast to 5,000 students studying in Chennai Municipal Schools in the academic year 2018-2019.

Following this, the scheme was expanded in February 2020. Accordingly, it was planned to construct a huge kitchen building on Greams Road, Chennai. The then Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami provided land for this building on behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government and Rs.5 crores on behalf of the then Governor Panwarilal Purohit.

It was rumoured in January of the same year that Edappadi Palaniswami announced a breakfast scheme for school students across Tamil Nadu.

The then Tamil Nadu Education Minister Sengottaiyan explained it as a rumour. However, former minister Velumani had posted on Twitter that the scheme is being analysed. Youturn also has published an article on this.

During the AIADMK rule, this scheme was implemented only for 5,000 school students in Chennai in collaboration with a private foundation. The then Chennai Corporation Commissioner Prakash said that no funds were provided by the Corporation and space for kitchen was given to Akshaya Patra in two locations. Also, various objections were raised that Akshaya Patra’s dish was caste-specific without onions and garlic.

Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme brought by DMK

In the year 2021, schools were opened in Tamil Nadu following the corona disaster period after M. K. Stalin took office as the Chief Minister on behalf of DMK in May. The Tamil Nadu government decided to implement the breakfast scheme again. This time it was planned that the government would bear the entire cost without the help of private charities. The government order was also published on 27th July.

In the ordinance issued under Rule No. 110, it has been mentioned that through the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme, breakfast will be provided to the students of classes 1 to 5 on all school days. A fund allocation of Rs.33.56 crore has been made for this purpose. It was planned to provide breakfast to 1,14,095 children studying in 1,545 government schools.

Also, the order says, “Breakfast preparation should be ensured through centralized kitchen or any other competent organization in urban areas, quality breakfast should be ensured through village panchayat and panchayat level federations in rural areas”.

The AIADMK government in collaboration with the Akshaya Patra Foundation provided breakfast to only 5,000 students in schools under the Chennai Corporation. The government did not provide funding for this project, but only space for the kitchen.

However, the current DMK Government is providing breakfast to the students of classes 1 to 5 studying in government schools across Tamil Nadu through the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme. The Tamil Nadu government provides the funds for this.

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