Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa 'Amma' has left behind a big void in state politics.
Her popularity can be gauged from the fact that the people of the state voted her to power for five times.
Her pro-poor and pro-women schemes endeared her to the masses. From 'cradle to baby scheme' aimed at fighting the curse of female foeticide to giving free gold coins for those who begot girl child, Amma pioneered a string of very popular social sector schemes.
The 68-year-old charismatic leader also began a series of public welfare schemes under brand Amma. 'Amma canteens' to ensure that the urban poor don't go to sleep hungry, 'Amma salt', 'Amma water' and 'Amma medicines'.
First women police station was launched in 1992 in Tamil Nadu under her leadership.
Jayalalithaa made rainwater harvesting compulsory in Tamil Nadu, a state that faces water shortage all through the year.
As part of her efforts to ease the lives of the women, Amma distributed appliances like mixer and grinder. Women were also entitled to get 50 percent subsidy to buy mopeds and pregnant women were given Rs 18,000 as maternity assistance.
She was among the first to embrace a scheme to distribute laptops to students. Lakh of students benefited by the scheme.
The actor-turned politician had also started 'Amma Master Health Checkup scheme' for those who couldn’t afford such tests in private hospitals.
Jayalalithaa also launched the 'Amma Kaipesi Thittam' (Mobile phone scheme) for 20,000 Community Self-Help Group trainers.
She also launched the scheme ‘Amma Seeds’ which is aimed at providing quality seeds. 'Amma Seeds’ were made available through ‘Amma Service Centres’ across the state.
The leader of the masses will be consigned to the eternal flames today evening at Marina Beach, next to the MGR Memorial.