The Jan Aahar scheme had been launched in Delhi under CM Sheila Dikshit to help the lower and lower-middle class afford to eat three healthy and nutritious meals a day. The scheme is run by NGOs and some women’s organizations.
Each thaali consists of dal, rice, a vegetable dish and two puris, and is priced at Rs 18/- a thaali. The Sheila Dikshit government had provided land for the shops and the shops get fresh market stock.
With the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, AAP now wants to start ‘Aam Aadmi Canteens’ which will serve meals at Rs 10 a plate. Dikshit accused Kejriwal of merely copying Congress, while those involved in the Jan Aahar stalls fear that this will affect their daily working. Even the National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) opposed the canteens as they believe it’ll affect members’ businesses.
G.A. Pereira of the Jaygee Humanitarian Society, who runs a Jan Aahar stall opposite the Green Park Metro, receives over 150 customers a day and ensures his food is clean and hygienic. Such people are wary about their future as there are rumors that AAP will shut down these Jan Aahar stalls.
However, if the AAP canteens do not live up to their name, there is bound to be a backlash from Delhiites as these Jan Aahar stalls do not serve just the urban poor but are also becoming popular with the middle-class and students.