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Five schemes that made Jayalalithaa a revered politician in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu's former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was no ordinary politician and one could get a glimpse of her charisma by just turning the clock back to the times she was dragged into the court.

Saurabh Sharma        Last Updated: December 6, 2016  | 21:34 IST
Five schemes that made Jayalalithaa a revered politician in Tamil Nadu
Photo: Reuters

Tamil Nadu's former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was no ordinary politician and one could get a glimpse of her charisma by just turning the clock back to the times she was dragged into the court.

At least 16 people committed suicide or died of cardiac arrest across Tamil Nadu after a special court in Bangalore convicted Jayalalithaa in a disproportionate assets case in 2014.

This is unusual and doesn't normally happen in an ordinary situation. So, why was this emotional outburst for just another politician? What has 'Amma' done for the people of Tamil Nadu?

We take a look at Amma's initiatives that could well be the reasons behind her charismatic appeal and connect with the masses:

AMMA CANTEEN

Back in 2013, J Jayalalithaa launched Amma Unnavagam or Mother's canteen with a vision to provide low-cost meals for the people at large. The food chains primarily serve South Indian food including idli, saambar rice, curd rice, pongal, lemon rice, curry leaf rice and also chappathi.

At Amma canteens, the dishes are offered at just Rs 1 for an idli, Rs 5 for a plate of sambar rice, Rs 5 for a plate of "Karuvapellai Satham" and Rs 3 for a plate of curd rice. Even the poorest of the poor can have a full meal within Rs 17-20 in Tamil Nadu.

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AMMA PHARMACY

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa set up 'Amma Pharmacies' to sell essential life saving medicines at 'fair price'.  The State-owned pharmacies provide medicines at special discounts from 20 to 35 percent.

Amma Pharmacy was set up to cater to the demand of poor who could not afford to buy medicines due to high prices at private outlets.  Jayalalithaa initially inaugurated a total of 10 shops in seven districts.

AMMA WATER

Earlier in 2013, Jayalalithaa launched a water distribution scheme -'Amma Kudineer'- with the aim of making clean water available to people at reasonable price.

1 Ltr 'Amma Kudineer' was priced just Rs 10. And, it is lower than the selling price of 'Rail Neer' - sold by the Indian railways at all stations.

This water is manufactured by the transport department of state government at its plant is in Thiruvalluvar district.

Amma Health Schemes

Last year, Jayalalithaa launched four health schemes namely, Amma Master Health Check Up, Amma Woman Special Master Health Check-up, Amma Arogya Scheme and Amma Pregnancy Sanjeevi.

The schemes offer master health check-ups through government-run laboratories and assures treatment through government hospitals. The cost of the check-up is almost one-fifth of what private centres offer.

Under the Amma Arogya Scheme, people can approach 385 primary health centres for conducting tests for diabetes, blood pressure, echo cardiogram (ECG), cholesterol and eye-related ailments.

Amma Cement Scheme

The Tamil Nadu government announced 'Amma Cement Scheme' under which it  procures cement from private manufacturers and sell them at Rs 190 per bag in the wake of possible increase in rates of the key construction component.

This was latest in the list of other similar efforts like the 'Amma Canteen' and 'Amma Mineral Water', all low-cost initiatives.

Jayalalithaa rolled out the Cement Scheme with aim to benefit the lower and middle class people.

Under the scheme, beneficiaries are eligible for a maximum of 750 bags for 1,500 sq.ft., and the cement could be bought by submitting the government approved building plan or road plan.

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