A Jan Ahaar Yojana for providing cooked meals at Rs. 15 per plate was launched by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit here on Tuesday.
Seven centres would be operated by seven non-government organisations in different parts of the Capital and they would serve both lunch and dinner at the fixed rate. Each meal would have about 1,000 calories.
The Chief Minister said the objective was to provide nutritious food to the poor and those working in factories, shops and other establishments. “They now need not take food from roadside eateries prepared in an untidy atmosphere,'' she said.
The Jan Ahaar Centres will be located on Asaf Ali Road, Lal Park Dev Nagar, Chabi Ganj Kashmere Gate, Azadpur Fruits Mandi, Azadpur Sabzi Mandi, S P Mukerjee Marg and Priyadarshini Colony Yamuna Bazar.
The scheme will be implemented in association with NGOs Bharat Ratna Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar Dalit Uthan Shiksha Samiti, Waruda, Rewards, Stri Shakti, Bal Vikas Evam Pryavaran Sanrankshan Sanstha and Jan Chetna Jagriti Evam Shaikshanik Vikas Manch. The government claimed that the NGOs had ample experience in the field.
The Government said a weekly menu had been chalked out by the Nutrition Council of India and an expert from St. Stephen's Hospital.
They have also prepared daily menu for both the meals which would include puri, chapatis, dam aloo, seasonal vegetables, sambhar, rajma, karhi, rice and halwa.
The inaugural function was attended among others by Delhi Social Welfare Minister Mangat Ram Singhal, Health Minister Kiran Walia, Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta and Social Welfare Secretary Manoj Parida.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly V.K. Malhotra accused the Chief Minister of trying to divert people's attention from the rising prices of essential commodities by launching schemes like Jan Ahaar. “The attempt by the Government to offer subsidised meals to residents of poor areas is like adding insult to injury,'' he said.
Prof. Malhotra claimed that the ‘Aapki Rasoi' community kitchen scheme that offered free cooked food to the poor had proved to be a failure as “barely a handful of such kitchens remained in operation and even they were highly suspect on grounds of quality of food and nutritional content''.