Chennai: Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday said it will bring more temples under the "Annadhanam" (free meals) scheme, holding that more than 31,000 persons benefited from the effort touted to be a pet initiative of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
The scheme was implemented in 360 temples during the 2001-06 AIADMK rule, and extended to "only two temples," in the subsequent DMK regime, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Minister MSM Anandan said.
In his department policy note for the year 2012-13 tabled before the state Assembly, he said that the scheme was extended to 106 temples in 2011-12.
"Everyday 31,575 devotees are benefited and Rs 6.32 lakh is being spent. As ordered by the Chief Minister, this scheme will be extended to 50 more temples during the current financial year considering the inflow of devotees and requirement," he said.
Further, spiritual and moral classes will be conducted on Saturdays in all important temples to make children "imbibe high moral and ethical values," he said.