The Gujarat government has launched the Shramik Annapurna Yojna, a scheme for labourers working at government-run construction sites in the state to provide them with meals at a subsidised rate. The government has earmarked a 500-crore budget for the scheme, which comes at a time when Gujarat is prepping for elections that will take place later this year.
About 25,000 construction labourers, according to government, would be benefitted through this scheme.
"It's a major relief for us...earlier I used to spend 100 rupees on food, now with this facility I have to shell out only 10 rupees,'' said Shantilal.
The workers who have authentic registration can avail these benefits after providing their identity cards which is given to them by the state labour department. Those with Aadhaar cards can register online for this scheme. The centres operate from 7am to 11am in all major cities and nagar palikas in the state.
The project is on the sidelines of the subsidised meals being provided by state governments in Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
According to officials, two persons can easily eat from one meal while they can buy three meals per person. "With the three meals they can take care of the food needs of at least six to seven persons. All this at a nominal pricew of Rs 10 per meal," said an official.
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who launched the scheme said, "Across the state 84 labour construction sites have been identified. Ten cities targeting 25,000 registered workers. The aim is to take care of the nutrition needs of the workers."
In an election year, the Gujarat government intends to target the huge labour force. The Annapurna scheme is right now targeting the construction workers but in the days to come other sectors will also be roped in, officials said.
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