T.N. Budget 2024 | CM’s breakfast scheme extended to aided schools in rural areas; government to cover higher education expenses of transpersons

The breakfast scheme will benefit an additional 2.5 lakh students; ₹2 crore has been allotted to the Transgender Welfare Board; government homes will be reformed as per the recommendations of a committee

Updated - February 19, 2024 03:06 pm IST

Published - February 19, 2024 01:35 pm IST - CHENNAI

The extension of the CM’s breakfast scheme to government-aided schools in rural areas will benefit around 2.5 lakh students of classes 1 to 5, said Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu.

The extension of the CM’s breakfast scheme to government-aided schools in rural areas will benefit around 2.5 lakh students of classes 1 to 5, said Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu. | Photo Credit: Akhila Easwaran

The flagship Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme will be extended to government-aided schools in rural areas from the upcoming academic year, and will benefit around 2.5 lakh students of classes 1 to 5, said Finance Minister Thangam Thennarasu.

In his State budget speech, on Monday, February 19, 2024, the Minister announced an allocation of ₹600 crore in the next financial year to implement this vision of the Chief Minister, who said: “We are willing to make any sacrifice to ensure widespread access to school education, to foster enjoyable learning experiences, and to ensure students learn without hunger.”

Click here to read the full text of Tamil Nadu Budget speech 2024

The Minister also said new ‘Thozhi hostels’ would be constructed this year, in cities including Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai, at a cost of ₹26 crore, benefiting 345 women.

Transgender persons’ educational expenses

Another significant announcement is the government’s decision to cover all educational expenses, including tuition and hostel fees, for transgender individuals who want to pursue higher education. An additional allocation of ₹2 crore will be made to the Transgender Welfare Board by the government for this initiative in the coming year, the Finance Minister said.

Reforms of government homes

The government will also implement necessary reforms based on the recommendations of a one-man committee chaired by former Justice K. Chandru, for the efficient operation and administration of Government Observation Homes, Special Homes, and Places of Safety. The Department under which these home function, currently known as the Directorate of Social Defence will be renamed the Department of Children Welfare and Special Services. Furthermore, additional posts including that of Chief Protection Officer will be created, and efforts will be made to strengthen human resources within the department.

Additionally, the Finance Minister, said a model home called ‘Poonjolai’ would be set up in Coimbatore with amenities such as a skill training centre, counselling rooms, a library, family members visiting room, medical examination room, a park and playground for children, under the first phase of the reform programme.

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