Fifty centres to offer subsidised lunch to 300 persons each between 12 noon and 1 p.m.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) on Sunday launched a pilot project offering hot and hygienic meals for the poor at Rs. 5 at Nampally Sarai close to the railway station.
A total of 50 such centres offering subsidised meals between 12 noon and 1 p.m. for 300 persons at each location were being set up in different parts of the city, Mayor Mohd. Majid Hussain said after formally inaugurating the project. For the scheme, the civic body has earmarked a budget of Rs. 11 crore for the year 2014-15 and additional budget would be provided if required, he said.
GHMC Commissioner Somesh Kumar said the scheme taken up with Hare Krishna Movement-Hyderabad, offering 450 gm rice, 100 gm dal, 150 gm curry and a spoon of pickle. Locations were being identified for setting up the rest of the meal centres at labour addas and other such pockets.
“Hyderabad has a global position as a major Information Technology centre and for other aspects and some citizens going without food here is not acceptable. The new scheme seeks to serve these sections with hot and hygienic meal at Rs. 5,” Mr. Somesh Kumar said. The cost of each meal prepared at the centralised kitchen of the Hare Krishna Movement at Patancheru worked out to Rs. 20 and the GHMC was providing a subsidy of Rs.15.
The municipal corporation also made a provision wherein interested persons can donate to the scheme on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and so on. “They can either contribute for part of the meal on a given day at a given centre or sponsor the whole meal,” he said.
Sri Satya Gaura Chandra Dasa, president, Hare Krishna Movement, said the Hyderabad chapter was already providing mid-day meals under ‘Akshaya Patra’ scheme to around 1 lakh children and under ‘Bhojana Mitra’, free lunch was provided at some hospitals.
The GHMC floor leaders of Telugu Desam Party and Congress, Singireddy Srinivas Reddy and Diddi Ram Babu respectively and corporators participated in the programme.