The Telangana government’s flagship subsidised meal programme ‘Annapurna Food Scheme’ has reached a unique milestone of serving 10 crore meals in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) since its inception in 2014.

The Annapurna scheme proved to be a saviour for the underprivileged and needy beneficiaries, especially during Covid-induced lockdowns and floods. The piping hot and hygienic meals, which are served as part of the Annapurna Food Scheme, have become a huge hit among the urban poor, especially daily wage labourers in Hyderabad.

The scheme was formulated to make sure not even one person goes hungry, something that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao has always stressed, GHMC officials on Monday said.

The objective of the Annapurna Food Scheme is to provide affordable and hygienic food for a nominal price of Rs 5. It comprises rice (400 grams), sambar (120gms), curry (100gms) and pickle (15gms).

Annapurna Food Scheme was launched in 2014 at 150 Annapurna centres, popularly known as Annapurna Canteens and the concept instantly turned out to be a huge hit with over 45,000 lunches being dished out every day.

Though Rs 5 was being charged per person for the meal, with Covid-19

throwing life out of gear for many people, especially the poor and migrant labour, the Telangana government started serving the Annapurna meals for free and also increased the number of meals served by multiple folds.

While only lunch was served for a nominal cost before the Covid-19 pandemic for Rs 5, during the lockdown, the State government served lunch and dinner for free making Telangana a role model for other States in the country.

During the first lockdown period, lunch was supplied through Annapurna canteens free of cost within GHMC limits at 373 centres and dinner was provided at 259 centres and during 2021-21 over 2.2 crore meals were served.

These canteens which are a boon for the poor are located at major landmarks, popular streets, markets, and major government hospitals and during lockdowns, mobile Annapurna canteens were pressed into service to reach out to a maximum number of people at their doorstep.

Meanwhile, Annapurna canteens equipped with seating arrangements will also be set up and in Phase-I, a total of 32 locations have been identified in different parts of the city. Presently, the Annapurna Canteen at Kukatpally already has a seating facility.

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