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23 May 2019, Edition - 1409, Thursday

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Coimbatore

Indira Canteen: “Congress has touched the right nerve finally”

Indrani Thakurata

Bengaluru: The mood was one that of celebration. People were all waiting to have their dinner in Arekere, Ward 193, Indira Canteen. After a hard day’s work, they have all gathered together for sumptuous meal all in Rs 10.

Even though, Rahul’s faux pax of calling Indira Canteen ,Amma canteen made internet humour, it isn’t far from the truth. The announcement by the Siddaramaiah government of setting up of the Indira canteens in the state budget for 2017-2018, has taken inspiration from the ‘Amma canteens’ in Tamil Nadu which was introduced by then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi launched ‘Indira Canteen’- an initiative by the Karnataka government to make the Karnataka a hunger free. Through this programme, the canteens will serve breakfast for a meagre sum of Rs 5, and lunch and dinner for Rs 10. This indeed is the reason for many smiles. Mahesh Pattnaik who works as a cook in the city says, “This is a great way to win hearts.

Congress has touched the right notes with this move. I will be having my lunch and dinner in this canteen from now on. It is a good way to save money and eat healthy. But I am only worried about cleanliness. I hope they keep it clean,which i don’t think they will.” Rahul in his speech did touch upon an important point, which is hygiene, something that regular consumers are worried about. “The canteen is targeted at the working class like construction workers and auto rickshaw drivers. The intention behind this initiative was that the quality of food and cleanliness should be same as in the most expensive restaurants in Bengaluru,” Rahul Gandhi was quoted saying.

Amma Canteen was launched in 2013 by then Chief Minister, to feed the economically disadvantaged sections of society. The canteen is popular for low-cost eateries and serves “Pongal” and sambar for Rs 5, idlis for Re 1. Taking cue from that,in Bangalore For now, 101 canteens will be opened. More will be opened in 97 wards from October 2 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birthday. A total of 27 kitchens will be set up across the city to cater to these canteens, of which 14 are ready and six are currently in working condition. “ It is said that 500 plates will be served now, and it will increase with time,” says Rupesh S, a construction worker who is happy to be served like this. Adding to it, Sumitra Amma, a localite says, “Hope they are able to sustain this for long. This shouldn’t be a few months wonder.”

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