Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

Tamil Nadu Government Launches India’s First Breakfast Scheme For School Children

September 16, 2022
Tamil Nadu
Under the unique scheme children will be served nutritious breakfast

The Tamil Nadu government launched the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for students of class one to six at a time when there is a heightened debate about states providing freebies. Launching the scheme, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin made a pointed observation that the breakfast scheme is not a ‘freebie” but an obligation of the state and ensure that the children of the state are fed.

The first of its kind of a scheme in India was launched at the Corporation Primary School Aathimoolam II in Simmakal, Madurai. This scheme is designed on the lines of the mid-day meal scheme that is run across the country under which school going children are provided free mid-day meals.

In most parts of rural and semi-urban India, students from economically impoverished families are often forced to attend school without breakfast. “While interacting with students recently in a programme at Chennai, I asked a few students why they appeared tired and if they had eaten. They said that they usually don’t eat in the morning, which struck a chord. Many officials and teachers affirmed the same. That spark led to the birth of the free breakfast scheme. Through this scheme, every student shall enter classrooms with their stomachs full,” said Stalin, while launching the scheme.

It must be noted that Tamil Nadu, which has some of the best human development indicies in the country had pioneered the mid-day meal scheme many decades ago, which was subsequently replicated in other parts of the country.

According to a report in The Hindu, the scheme traces its roots to the 102-year old free tiffin service that was launched by  P. Theagaraya Chetty, the then President of the Corporation (Mayor) of the Justice Party at the Corporation School located at Thousand Lights in Chennai. Subsequently, the idea was adopted by the former Chief Minster, K Kamaraj, who introduced the scheme across in the form of mid-day meal scheme. All chief ministers of the state have carried forward the practice of serving nutritious food to students studying in government schools across the state.