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Tamil Nadu Mid-day meal scheme Eminent to Satisfy Children Hunger - NRI Tamils Says

By Anuj Cariappa
Google Oneindia News

Chennai: Chief Minister M.K.Stalin has launched a historic breakfast scheme in Madurai. Expatriate Tamils laud the launch of this scheme determined to introduce nutritious food to students.

For the past hundred years in Tamil Nadu, the mid-day meal scheme has been satisfying the hunger of school children. This dream of the DMK, a Dravidian party, continues has reached a new height with the intervention of MK Stalin.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin feeds students of Corporation Primary School Aathimoolam

Countless people have risen in life as a result of the government's mid-day meal scheme for school children. This scheme is helpful to provide nutritious food to school children at no cost every day. Apart from this, this kind of scheme is also eminent in improving the standard of living for small children who are deprived of basic nutrition.

Mid-Day Meal Encouraged Velmurugan to Study

Popular folk singer Velmurugan said that he was born and brought up in an ordinary village in Tamil Nadu. However, it was the mid-day meal scheme that gave him life.

During my youth, I never saw rice food at the home. Rice was only served in the school and we used to get porridge at home in the breakfast. I was one of those people who went to study because if I go to school, I will get rice in the afternoon. Our village is Muthanai near Neyveli township. I studied in a government school there. After that, I studied at Vriddhachalam Government School said Velmurugan.

My brother and I used to buy school lunch and eat it at home with mom and dad. As far as I can remember, we have never cooked rice food at home. Beetroot rice is served at school. I went to school only because of the mid-day meal scheme. Poor kids like me wouldn't have gone to school if they didn't put food there.

Now Chief Minister MK Stalin goes one step ahead of mid-day meals and serves breakfast. Do you know how big of a help that is? Our people still need that much. Well-off people can argue against this. For me, if there were no mid-day meals, I would have been illiterate says Vel Murugan.

Mid meals helped students in Getting Job at California

Like VelMurugan, Kanagarajan Natarajan has emotionally narrated to us the life attained by the mid-day meal scheme. He is working as a Senior Network Architect in California, USA. He always studied in a state school environment. Once upon a time when the family was struggling with poverty, it was that meal that helped him complete his dream of schooling he says.

Kanagarajan Natarajan remembers his old life without forgetting the mid-day meals scheme. I grew up in Chennai. I studied in Tamil medium from 6th to 12th standard. That too in Chennai Corporation Government School.

I had seven siblings and my father's income was enough to feed all of us. There were times when we did not get three-time food everyday. When I go to school in the morning, I eat the porridge left over from the night. Often it doesn't even exist. Then I would drink only water and go to school. That's how my younger days passed. My father died suddenly when I was in sixth grade.

The whole family lived on his income. The whole family was worried after his death. Even though our relatives gave us food and rice to it. Still, that was not enough to fill our hungry stomachs and we faced the cruelty of hunger.

At that time, my mother got a temporary job in Anganwadi near the house. She would bring home leftovers from the meals he served to schoolchildren and we used to it that. When I was in fifth grade, our school got a mid-day meal scheme. I carry an aluminum plate with my book bag every day. Teacher used to write the dish that was going to serve every day.

If it is written as 'vegetable food today, the happiness of that day will not be measured. In this way, I studied from class VI to class 12 after eating a mid-day meal in a government-aided school.

Many students bring food from home. They look down on students who eat school-provided food. For them, I replied with my mark sheet. Till 12th standard, I used to be the first or second rank in the class. I was such a good student.

This gave me an opportunity to study engineering. I worked in a software company in Chennai for some years. I rescued my family from poverty. I also saved enough money to marry my sister.

Today I am working in California, here too mid-day meal schemes are applicable in schools. If the mid-day meals scheme had not quenched my hunger then, I would not have been able to sit and work in the highest position in America today says Kanagarajan.

Mid-Day Meal Helped in Getting Job at Cambridge University

Dr. Jayaramakrishnan Velusamy from Coimbatore is another beneficiary of the mid-day meal scheme. He is working as a principal researcher at the University of Cambridge in England. He belonged to a village named Othakal Mandapam. Therein he studied at Premier Mills Government Panchayat Union Primary School in Coimbatore. After that, I studied at Premier Mills Government High School. I completed my entire schooling with government assistance.

Everything from schooling to shoes was provided by the government. I was able to study well only because he was given a uniform and good food. Today, I am working as a Principal Researcher at the University of Cambridge, which is ranked second in the world university rankings. This is possible only because of the government's midday meal scheme he emotionally says.

Recently, Tamil Nadu has launched a free breakfast scheme for government school students studying in classes 1 to 5. This scheme is aimed to provide nutritious breakfast to students. Apart from nutrition value, the scheme is also going to help in the reduction of school dropouts. This free breakfast scheme shall be provided along with the mid-day meal.

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