Remebering MGR's Achievements as CM of Tamil Nadu
The Midday Meal Scheme has been implemented in the Union Territory of Puducherry under the French Administration since 1930. In post-independent India, Midday meal Scheme was first launched in Tamil Nadu, pioneered by the former Chief Minister K. Kamaraj in the early 60s. By 2002, the scheme was implemented in all of the states under the orders of the Supreme Court of India.
Once he became Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, he placed great emphasis on social development, especially education. One of his most successful policies was the conversion of the "Midday Meal Scheme", introduced by the popular Congress Chief Minister and kingmaker K Kamaraj, which already was encouraging underprivileged children to attend school, into "M.G.R.'s Nutritious Meal Scheme" in the government-run and -aided schools in Tamil Nadu by adding saththurundai – a nutritious sugary flour dumpling. This scheme was at a cost of Rs. 1 billion and was imposed in 1982.
A little more than 120,000 children of the state were benefited. He also introduced Women's Special buses. He introduced a liquor ban in the state and preservation of old temples and historical monuments, ultimately increasing the state's tourist income. He set up a free school for the cinema technicians children in Kodambakkam called M.G.R. Primary & Higher Secondary School which provided free mid-day meals in the 1980s.
He led the AIADMK to victory in the 1984 assembly elections, despite not taking part in the campaigning. At that time he was undergoing medical treatment in America and his images were broadcast in Tamil Nadu through cinema halls.
This was an effective campaign tactic and AIADMK won the elections claiming around 56% of assembly seats, indicating the depth of his popular support. He won his seat in a double landslide victory in 1984. He still holds the record of being the chief minister with the highest consistent longevity of more than a decade.
Midday meal scheme refers to the government of India programme introduced in all government elementary schools to provide children with cooked lunch. Tamil Nadu was the first state in India to introduce this scheme.
The first school which had the scheme since 1925 was Sourashtra Boys Higher Secondary School, Madurai. On 28th November 2001, the Supreme Court asked all state governments to begin this programme in their schools within 6 months.
The programme has shown many positive effects. Mothers who used to earlier stop their work to feed their children at home, no longer need to do so now.