Telangana launches Rs 5 meal scheme for patients’ attendants

Hyderabad, May 12 (IANS) The Telangana government on Thursday launched the Rs 5 meal scheme for attendants of patients in 18 government hospitals in Greater Hyderabad.
Under the scheme, the state government, jointly with Hare Rama Hare Krishna Mission, will provide three-time meals every day to the attendents of patients. They will be charged a nominal Rs 5 for each meal.
Health Minister Harish Rao, along with Home Minister Mehmood Ali, launched the scheme in the Osmania General Hospital. They along with local MLA Raja Singh had the meals after formal launch of the scheme.
Ministers, MLAs and other public representatives launched the scheme in other hospitals.
Harish Rao said the scheme will be implemented with the help of Hare Rama Hare Krishna, a non-profit organisation. The government will provide a Rs 21 subsidy to the NGO for every meal.
An estimated 20,000 people will have meals under the scheme everyday.
The minister said the state government would spend Rs 40 crore annually on this scheme.
He said the government has already announced hike in diet charges for patients in all government hospitals across the state to provide them quality and nutritious food and will bear an additional expenditure of Rs 43.50 crore annually.
Calling Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao a great humanist, Harish Rao said during his visit to Osmania and Gandhi hospitals, the Chief Minister found that attendants of the patients were facing severe hardships due to lack of facilities for stay and food.
On the direction of the chief minister, shelter houses are being constructed at government hospitals for attendants of the patients, he said.
The Rs 5 meal scheme and shelter houses are among numerous measures taken by KCR for the welfare of poor, especially poor, he added.
Harish Rao noted that in the first year after coming to power, KCR had announced six kg rice at the rate of one rupee a kg for every member of the family. He removed the 20-kg ceiling for a family which was in place in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
Harish Rao said KCR also ensured supply of superfine rice to students of SC, ST and BC hostels.
The minister said no other state in the country was implementing the kind of welfare schemes which are being implemented in Telangana.

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