Published: 03rd August 2021
With meat out, Lakshadweep government school students served fish, eggs every day except Tuesdays for mid-day meal
The meeting to decide the same was convened on January 27, a little over a month after Praful Khoda Patel took charge as the administrator
Skip red meat, turn to fish - this is something that you'd be prone to hear from doctors everywhere. But if you were a student who was depending on the mid-day meal in Lakshadweep, you would have heard the same thing from the people serving your meals.
A few months prior to Lakshadweep witnessing a series of protests against its administrator, Gujarat politician Praful Khoda Patel, a key decision was taken by the Union Territory's monitoring committee and the Kavaratti district task force — to remove meat from the mid-day meal menu of government schools. The meeting to decide this was convened on January 27, a little over a month after Patel took charge.
Now, according to a response by the new Minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan, the only non-vegetarian items of food provided to the students are fish and eggs. While students get a serving of fish on four days, they have an option to choose between egg and fish on one day. On Tuesdays alone, they are only served egg, along with rice, dal and green gram. Prior to this, students say that they were served chicken, beef and mutton occasionally.
"As reported by Union Territory of Lakshadweep, the MDM menu was slightly modified," said Pradhan in parliament on August 2, while answering a question raised by Congress MP M K Raghavan. "Fruits and non-vegetarian food are provided according to the items available in the local market. As per the decision taken in the above meeting, meat was excluded and fish, egg and dry fruits are included in the menu," Pradhan added.
Soon after Patel took charge as the administrator, there were allegations about how the administration was planning to hand over the mid-day meal scheme to the Bengaluru-based Akshaya Patra Foundation — which has been embroiled in a similar controversy earlier, as they do not serve non-vegetarian food.