A total of 3,347 women have applied for just 81 vacancies in various positions at noon meal centres in the southern suburbs of Chennai. Following the creation of vacancies for the posts of organisers, cooks and helpers in noon meal kitchens across the city’s southern suburbs, the St. Thomas Mount Panchayat Union called for applications from eligible women. Only women are appointed to these posts.

While the basic salary for an organiser ranges from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 5,000; it is Rs. 1,300 to Rs. 3,000 for a cook and Rs. 950 to Rs. 2,000 for a helper. Work is from 9 a.m. to a little past noon.

There are 152 noon meal centres in government and government-aided schools in these suburbs under Tambaram, Alandur and Sholinganallur taluks. Every day, 26,850 children from low-income families, avail of the nutritious noon meal scheme free of cost.

Eligibility criteria for the posts was passing of class X for organisers, class VIII for cooks and class V pass for helpers. Application forms would be scrutinised, officials said and eligible candidates will be called for an interview. Interviews would last three days and the final list would be sent to the Kancheepuram District Collector for his approval and appointment order, they said, adding that these appointments were being done after a gap of three years.

The qualifying age was between 18 and 40, with some relaxation for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe, widows and destitute women, among others.

Officials made it clear that the entire process would be transparent as it was a State-wide process and any attempts to influence it would be severely dealt with.

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