Mid-day meal scheme implementation
It was MGR who started the first ever mid-day meal scheme in Tamilnadu in the 1970s when he was CM. He gave two reasons, one that he knew from personal experience how agonising it was for children to go without meals - having experienced this himself as a child - also to ensure larger enrolment in schools and reducing drop-out rates.
Indira Gandhi, the then great Economists, the Planning Commission, many other celebrities criticised the move as one that would lead to bankruptcy of the State. Surprisingly, the UN complimented him. And, MGR achieved both objectives of larger admissions in schools and fewer drop-outs.
This is the reason why, nearly the whole of Tamilnadu adored MGR even after 30 and more years of his death. His name is magic and that is what Jayalalitha is cashing in as his one-time mistress. Most tamil-adults of to-day have had the benefit of this scheme when they were young and are grateful to him, so vote for his name.
Another point, India can never claim to have any sense of hygiene in the kitchen or with regard to our articles of food or even potable water. Most mothers cook in these conditions and feed their children, yet no child has died of it so far. The reason is that more than the food, it is the motherly love that is fed.
In the Mid-day meals scheme, however, this love - not even an iota - is lacking, hence children die. The Hare Krishna temple in Bangalore is running a scheme for meals for students in schools and serve millions of children every-day, yet there has been no complaint. The reason is their dedication and sincerety.