Puducherry: The Alumni Association of a women's Government college today launched a free breakfast scheme for girls from rural and semi-urban areas and pursuing courses in the institution get nutrition on all working days.

"The reason for the girls not being able to eat breakfast at home is that most of their parents are daily wage earners or farm workers in rural and semi urban areas and do not have the economic resources to feed the girls," Association Secretary Dr Rajiny said.

Dr Rajiny,who is Assistant Professor in the Department of Home Science at Bharatidasan Government College for women,told PTI that the alumini hit upon the plan when they noticed girls turning up at college without having breakfast and some of them even fainting in class.

She said the scheme now benefits around 225 girls of vulnerable and very poor families and include those who have lost their mothers or fathers and are reeling under poverty.

Dr Rajiny said per capita expense was around Rs 12 and breakfast is provided on all working days (Monday to Friday).

She said poverty and starvation should not stand in the way of the girls getting education and added that Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was all praise for the initiative when the project was explained to her.

The Association would soon launch its website to establish links with former students, Dr Rajiny said.

She said the Association, which has been registered under the Societies Act, has mobilised funds from former students, donors and philanthropists.

A former Principal of the College and also a builder here were among those who contributed Rs one lakh each to the Association, she said.

The scheme was formally launched today at the college by Welfare Minister M Kandasamy.

The college, started here in 1969, was the first women`s college in the Union Territory. Earlier it was affiliated to University of Madras.

After a Central University was opened here in 1985, the college alike other institutions became an affiliated college of Pondicherry university. It has since become an autonomous college.