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Shiv Bhojan scheme: Uddhav Thackeray takes cue from Amma canteens, launches Rs 10-thali for poor in Maharashtra

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Shiv Bhojan scheme launched in Maharashtra: The Uddhav Thackeray-led government in Maharashtra has launched its Shiv Bhojan scheme which provides for meals priced as low as Rs 10 at various places in the state. The scheme, launched on the occasion of Republic Day, was part of the common minimum programme of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government and will run at six civic hospitals and some government establishments for now.

As per officials, about 18,000 thalis will be distributed every day through 125 centres — including 17 locations in Mumbai alone — across the state under the initiative. The scheme has been launched on a pilot basis for the next three months, after which it will be reviewed, reported The Indian Express.

The scheme was launched at the BYL Nair hospital in Mumbai Central by state cabinet minister for textile, fisheries and port development, Aslam Shaikh. Addressing a gathering at the hospital, Shaikh took a swipe at the Centre and said that even those left jobless owing to the Modi government’s failures will not sleep hungry.

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The Shiv Bhojan scheme draws its inspiration for the highly successful Amma canteens launched by Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu. The Amma canteens serve idlis at Re 1, variety rice at Rs 3 a plate and chapatis at Rs 3 with dal. The scheme, launched by Jayalalithaa to address hunger in the state, has already been replicated by states like Delhi, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Besides the BYL Nair hospital, the scheme has been implemented at Sir King Edward Memorial Hospital in Parel, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion, VN Desai Hospital in Santacruz, RN Cooper Hospital in Juhu and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Memorial Hospital in Byculla.

At one hospital, a thali with two chapatis, daal, a bowl of vegetable and rice, which cost Rs 50 is now being sold for Rs 10, while the remaining amount will be subsidised by the state government.