Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Finance Minister Thomas Issac who is credited with floating Kudumbashree, has always been generous in lifting it from a project funded by National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD), to its present level and in his 11th budget that was presented in the state Assembly on Friday announced 1,000 new Kudumbashree hotels which will serve the typical Kerala meals at Rs 25.
Founded in 1997, when Issac was a member of the Kerala State Planning Board, as part of the People's Plan, Kudumbashree is the poverty eradication and women empowerment programme implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) of the state government, which started as a mission funded by the NABARD.
And every time since 2006, the economist turned Finance Minister, when he first presented his budget in 2006 , he has always been very liberal to extending financial allocations to Kudumbashree and in his 11th budget , he has set aside Rs 250 crores for it.
As of now Kudumbashree today runs numerous hotels across the state, mostly operating in government offices as an in-house canteen, offering meals and snacks at competitive prices, all of which are operated by women.
And today with his announcement of starting 1000 new Kudumbashree hotels which will provide the typical Kerala meals for Rs 25 is going to be a major relief for the average man on the street, when a typical lunch in the wayside hotel today charges anything above Rs 50.
Apart from this lunch, Kudumbashree has been given the nod to start a chitty programme, which would be an extension to the microfinance scheme which already is running quite well.
AThe Kudumbashree network by 31th March 2019 has a total membership of 43,93,579 women. Kudumbashree membership is open to all adult women, limited to one membership per family.