The Maharashtra government launched the ‘Shiv Bhojan’ scheme on January 26, 2020. The scheme aims to provide a meal to the poor at subsidized rates.
Under the scheme, the Shiv Sena-led state government will provide a meal to the poor for just Rs 10. The scheme has been currently launched on a pilot basis.
The launch of the scheme fulfills one of the campaign promises made by the Shiv Sena, which runs the state government in alliance with the Congress and the NCP.
‘Shiv Bhojan’ scheme
• Under the Shiv Bhojan scheme, lunch plates or thalis will be made available to the poor at designated canteens and centres during a particular time in all districts of the state. At least one ‘Shiv Bhojan’ canteen will be opened at the district headquarters.
• The lunch plates or thalis will comprise two chapattis, one vegetable sabzi, rice and dal.
• The thalis will be made available between 12 pm and 2 pm. Each canteen will serve at least 500 thalis per day.
• Initially, 50 ‘Shiv Bhojan’ outlets will be set up for the beneficiaries. The state will conduct a phase-wise extension of the outlets depending upon the feedback.
The ‘Shiv Bhojan’ scheme aims to provide affordable and quality food to all people, irrespective of their religion, cast, creed or financial status.
Maharashtra is not the first state to launch canteens that offer food at subsidized rates for the benefit of the poor. States like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have launched similar schemes before such Amma Unavagam and Indira Canteen. Tamil Nadu had set up the first such canteen in 2013.