Food for all

From rickshaw- pullers to office-goers, everyone will soon be able to have breakfast, lunch and dinner for just Rs 10 in the City. 

The government has cleared the decks for rolling out “aam aadmi” canteens along the lines of Tamil Nadu’s ‘Amma’s Kitchen’ to serve hygienic and nutritious food.
The first canteen is expected to come up within two months.

The government approved “aam aadmi” canteens proposed by the Delhi Dialogue Commission in a meeting on Thursday. The canteens will serve nutritious food for Rs 5 to Rs 10. Sources said the idea of launching these canteens is to end the legacy of the Congress government’s ‘jan ahaar’ mobile eateries that serve a thali for around Rs 20.

But DDC Vice-Chairman Ashish Khetan remained silent on the issue whether these canteens will co-exist or replace the already functional ‘jan ahaar’ eateries. Khetan, however, said these new canteens will ease the lives of those who feel the pinch of affording nutritious and hygienic meal. “Whether it is a college-going youth or an office-goer or a small trader, everyone feels the pinch of having a good meal at food stalls and restaurants,” he added.

“The situation of the poor is even worse. Rickshaw-pullers, daily wage labourers, construction workers and others employed in laborious jobs have no choice but to consume unhygienic or insufficiently nutritious food that is prepared and served in unsanitary conditions.”

Delhi has roughly 10 lakh construction workers, five lakh street hawkers and 4.2 lakh families living in slums. “The aam aadmi canteens will especially focus on providing quality food to the poor and needy,” he said.

“Special emphasis will be laid on preparing food under extremely hygienic conditions and serving meals that are both good in quality and sufficient in quantity.”

The government said proper mechanisms will be put in place to ensure that the food is both prepared and served in hygienic conditions. “Elaborate standards will be laid down. All canteens will be fitted with RO systems for drinking water. Eventually, all canteens will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

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