Frontline last month "Women’s self-help groups from the local areas run the canteens. They cook the food and sell them; the government provides the rice, dhal and vegetables. Deepam Women’s Self-Help Group of Rajeev Gandhi Nagar manages the budget restaurant on Santhome High Road with the help of Asha Nivas, a non-governmental organisation.
S. Santhisri, group leader, said: “We were doing social work. So we were given the job here. I am the supervisor.” Sixteen women are employed in this canteen. “All of us work unitedly,” said Violet Mary, one of them. Another employee, D. Ponni, said they sell at least 3,000 idlis now, up from the 1,000 they sold initially. Eight hundred portions of sambar rice and 400 of curd rice were snapped up, she added.
The sanitary inspector, the junior engineer and the tax collector from the local Corporation division monitor the working of these establishments."
The details of subsidies and government help are not very clear from the reports.The scheme is being expanded to other cities and more items "Jayalalithaa said the decision to add new items followed requests from the public. The rotis would take a little longer to get on the menu as the government had to float tenders for procuring machines to make them. But, from September, roti with dal will be offered at the canteens. "Devinder Sharma is enthusiastic. Gulzar Natarajan wonders about long-term management challenges.