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Low-cost meals for Capital’s poor

A nutritious and good quality meal for just Rs 15 is Delhi government's promise and aim for the hundreds of poor and homeless people in the Capital.

delhi Updated: Jun 02, 2010 01:04 IST
Jatin Anand

A nutritious and good quality meal for just Rs 15 is Delhi government's promise and aim for the hundreds of poor and homeless people in the Capital.

The plan includes dispatching mobile food units to areas predominantly inhabited by the homeless.

“We have already floated a tender for the scheme, which is expected to be operational sometime around the second week of June,” said a senior official from the department of social welfare on condition of anonymity.

The government is following the example of Brazil’s ‘Homeless and Landless Unite’ scheme under which the government provides subsidies to NGOs that prepare food for the homeless in community kitchens.

The government proposes to give the city’s poor, shelter-less population — mainly rickshaw-pullers, daily wagers, labourers and the like — access to regular but good-quality, nutritious food items at a reasonable price through these food units.

The scheme, an extension of Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit’s Apni Rasoi (community kitchen) programme, will reportedly be inaugurated on June 15.

“These mobile food units will provide a thali with roti, dal, chawal, chole, etc., to the homeless at Rs 15,” said Manoj Parida, principal secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare, Delhi.

The programme comes after an order each from the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court and will utilise the existing infrastructure of the mid-day meal scheme.

“It was found that the kitchens that are part of the mid-day meal scheme commence cooking for students at 4 a.m. and are free after 10 a.m. So, the same kitchens can now be utilised to cook food for the homeless,” said Rakesh Mehta, Chief Secretary, Delhi.