Free breakfast for Pourakarmikas: Project fails to take off
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Free breakfast for Pourakarmikas: Project fails to take off

March 1, 2017

The Mysuru City Corporation’s ambitious plan to provide free and regular breakfast to Pourakarmikas in city has failed to take off. Reason: Only seven individuals, who have no experience and resources to supply food, have applied for the tender, forcing the MCC to reject all applications.  The MCC is now toying with the idea of handing over the breakfast tender to ISKCON, Mysuru wing.

The free breakfast scheme was supposed to be launched today and the MCC authorities, had in January this year, said that they would provide free and nutritious breakfast to all 2,655 Pourakarmikas who clean the city between 6 am to 10 am. The scheme was supposed to cover all the 65 wards under nine zones.

When the breakfast idea was mooted, the MCC authorities had stated that Pourakarmikas don’t find time to prepare breakfast as they start from home at 5 or 6 am and invariably they stand in front of hotels and wait for their food. This would embarrass them and most of the time, Pourakarmikas used to stay hungry. Also, during many health camps, it was found that most of the Pourakarmikas skip breakfast and this was one of the reasons for their health being affected.

The MCC had estimated that Rs. 1.70 crore would be needed per year as the monthly cost to provide breakfast will be Rs. 14 lakh.

Each Pourakarmika, including contract Pourakarmikas, would be given breakfast worth Rs. 26 per day and the MCC had planned to use funds from State Government’s SC/ST Welfare 24.01 Fund.

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Tenders were called in January through e-procurement and the conditions were laid to provide quality food (a different variety each day) at 9 am at the respective places where Pourakarmikas do the cleaning work.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, MCC Health Officer Dr. H. Ramachandra said that they had received seven tender applications from persons who are not experienced in supplying food.

“We felt that the applications were not genuine as the applicants had no experience in catering. We also realised that they do not have the capacity to provide the minimum bank guarantee and all the applicants were non-taxpayers,” he said.

ISKCON TO HANDLE SCHEME?

When the issue was brought before Chief Minister Siddharamaiah, he advised the MCC not to hand over the scheme to inexperienced people as it might lead to food poisoning and other issues. Dr. Ramachandra said that the CM had suggested them to approach ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) as they had the experience of providing food to Pourakarmikas working in Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).

“Since the State Government is providing ISKCON tax exemption to supply breakfast under BBMP limits, ISKCON Mysuru can take up the responsibility in Mysuru, the CM had suggested. ISKCON Mysuru too has expressed interest in the same. We have sent a proposal to the State Government and the decision lies with the CM.” Dr. Ramachandra said. The government will decide if tax exemption has to be provided to ISKCON Mysuru to provide breakfast, he added.

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