The soaring price of food is no news to people these days. With the pandemic in full effect and people still being out of jobs, putting food on the table can seem to be quite an ordeal. To mitigate the effects of this, the Maharashtra government is and has been providing thalis or meals to the poor, who are finding it hard to make ends meet.

The state government launched the Shiv Bhojan yojana – a scheme that offers a full meal to needy ones at only ₹5 (which was earlier given at ₹10). The Shiv scheme is respectfully named after Shivaji Maharaj – the great Maratha warrior King who is known to have essentially worked for the welfare of the poor.

Need for the scheme

People have had no stable jobs since the pandemic came knocking on the doors of India. Without a constant influx of money, people find it difficult to keep a roof over their heads and electricity coursing through their devices. In such a scenario, rationing and buying food items may seem to be quite a task, considering how expensive everything in the market lately appears to be.

To offer a sigh of relief to the people of Maharashtra, the state government intends to offer hand-cooked meal plates worth ₹5 to people so that being without a full stomach is not a worry on people’s minds, while they try to stave away the ills of the coronavirus.

The government intends to in fact goes beyond the extra mile and offer 3 kilograms wheat and 2 kilograms rice to roughly about 7 crore beneficiaries so as to offer them food security in these trying times. There are also subsidies offered on foodgrains procured through ration card and on LPG cylinders.

About the ₹5 meal in the Shiv Bhojan Yojana

The thali service offered by the Maharashtra government will be offered by Thackeray Anna-rath – a Canteen scheme that is implemented by the state government.

The Shiv Bhojan Yojana has been running successfully for a year now and the meal plate is a part of the MVA government’s official Common Minimum Programme (CMP). Prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, the thali was offered at ₹10, the price of which has now been slashed to ₹5 to make it more affordable to the people who seem to be in need of availing of this scheme.

The Menu options for the Shiv Bhojan Yojana

The meal which is known as the Shiv Thali essentially includes the following items:

The menu of the thali is refreshed every day with new varieties of vegetable dishes are offered. The implementation of the Shiv Thali does not discriminate among those who wish to benefit from it on the basis of caste, colour or religion. Such a scheme is now being implemented across several parts of the country like in Delhi, Jharkhand, Odisha and even Madhya Pradesh.