Low-cost idlis will be served every Sunday

As many as 6,600 piping hot idlis with sambar were served for free on the opening day at the ‘Amma Mess’ at Kalasipalyam here on Sunday.

The mess has been set up by the former State Secretary of the All-India Anna DMK (Karnataka unit) K.R. Krishnaraju. Its inauguration coincided with the 66th birthday of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The mess has been established on the lines of the ‘Amma Mess’, the low-cost eatery across Chennai where each idli costs Re. 1. It is a Tamil Nadu government initiative.

Giving details about the mess in Kalasipalyam, Mr. Krishnaraju said: “The idlis will be served on every Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. for a month. Later, we plan to serve it daily. Each idli costs Re. 1, but it was served for free on the first day.”

The mess, established for the benefit of the economically weak sections of society, got an encouraging response from the locals who swarmed the tiny outlet on Sunday morning. In the philanthropic effort, the cooks joined hands with Mr. Krishnaraju by offering their services for free. According to him, the cooks — Singaramma, Shanti, Basavamma and Lakshmi — offered their services for free on the first day.

“We prepare the idlis in a cooking unit upstairs around 5 a.m. and start serving them by 7 a.m. here. We voluntarily wanted to be a part of the initiative and therefore are doing it for free,” said Shanti.

The tiny mess is located in a building owned by Mr. Krishnaraju at the end of a cross road called Nageshwara Garden opposite the Kalasipalya police station. The street was dotted with posters and buntings of ‘Amma’, making it easy to guess the location of ‘Amma Mess’.

Mr. Krishanaraju hopes that many more such eateries will come up in the city. “This was a personal investment as I wanted to help the economical weak section of society here. We will seek government aid so that more such outlets can be started. A memorandum to this effect will be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on February 23,” he said.

The cost factor

Mr. Krishnaraju said the cost of idlis doled out on the first day stood at Rs. 8,000 excluding the cost of vessels.

At least Rs. 2,500 would be needed per day on an average to sustain the functioning of the mess. The party proposes to establish a fund with the contribution of party members so that the initiative can be supported.

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