Violet, a Class XII Student from Tiruvallur, Tamil Nadu, is a proud owner of a brand new laptop. She’s among 119 students from two schools in the district to take home a laptop.
“I had access to computer only at my school. Now I can use it anytime I want and it’ll help me in my studies and score better in exams,” said Violet.
Daily-wage agricultural labourer N Devaki,65, received a cow as a gift which she says will bring her a regular income to support her at her age. Around 82 others were given cows and goats by the government.
N Devaki said, “I don’t have any regular income. I work in farms for daily wages, my son’s gone away and lives separately. Now I have only this cow to support me.”
Latha Ganesan and 474 other homemakers, meanwhile, will take home a mixer, grinder and a fan each.
Jayalalithaa’s government will spend more than Rs 2000 crore on these freebies – but the Chief Minister has an answer to those who question such spending.
“Such schemes meant for the betterment of the economically poor so that everyone can enjoy equal benefits and to improve their economic conditions and quality of life are being dubbed by many as freebies. No one with any knowledge of economics will speak like this” said Jayalalithaa.
Freebies including mixers, grinder, fans, laptops and cattle worth over Rs 73 lakh were distributes on Friday to the beneficiaries.
While such measures are being criticised by many, the Chief Minister continues to defend them saying they are welfare measures aimed at improving the standard of living of the economically poor.