Mumbai

Sena to serve up Shiv bhojan from Republic Day

The ₹10 meal will first be available outside 20 hospitals and government offices

The State will identify 20,000-odd beneficiaries for its flagship Shiv bhojan scheme through a face-recognition software developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).

Senior government officials said the ₹10 plate of wholesome food for the needy, designed on the lines of Tamil Nadu’s Amma canteen, will be first served outside 20 hospitals and government offices starting this Republic Day.

The NIC, attached to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, will identify the first-time beneficiary, linking them to Aadhaar to avoid duplication, and ascertain identity.

“The Tamil Nadu Government has provided personalised cards to users. We too want to put in place a mechanism whereby the beneficiaries are identified and linked to a delivery mechanism. A face-recognition software from NIC will help us do that and ensure food is not served to the same person twice,” said a senior government official.

Food Supply and Consumer Affairs Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said that 20 locations have been shortlisted as a pilot. However, the Maha Vikas Agadhi (MVA) government was keen to ensure that scheme is a success, and it would be extended across the State, he said. “Funding is the least of our concerns. We now estimate that the scheme will run for sometime without any external help. We are looking to run it on a long-term basis after a year’s trial,” he told The Hindu.

The ₹10 meal will serve two chapattis, a 100 gm serving of vegetables, 150 gm rice and 100 gm dessert daily during lunch hours. The State is expected to provide a subsidy of ₹40 per meal in urban centres and ₹25 per plate in rural.“We are provisioning to run it at least for a year with our own kitty and then cross subsidise it if needed,” said a senior official.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 4:09:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/sena-to-serve-up-shiv-bhojan-from-republic-day/article30597193.ece

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