Breakfast scheme at schools: TN govt is serving an old recipe on a new platter

Noon meal scheme Akshaya Patra
The noon meal scheme is surrounded by a controversy in the state over the AIADMK government’s decision to tie up with Akshaya Patra | Illustration - Prathap Ravishankar

Around 7.45 am, the Chennai Corporation School at Thiruvanmiyur is a scene of chaos. Restless children running around and giggling. Some, however, are still trying their best to read books.

Then the 8 am bell rings, and all the children rush to form a line. In a few minutes, after a small prayer, they will be devouring a breakfast of sambar rice and chips.

But little do they know that their meal is surrounded by a controversy in the state over the AIADMK government’s decision to tie up with Akshaya Patra, an NGO associated with ISKCON or International Society for Krishna Consciousness, for the school breakfast programme, 'Kalai Unavu Thittam'.

Started in 2019 February, the scheme has now been expanded to 16 Corporation schools in the city. The tie-up drew the ire of many after it was revealed that the food served to the students would be without onion or garlic.

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