Published: 05th October 2021
Now, Karnataka team to visit TN to study how to include eggs in mid day meals for school children
A total of Rs 3953.14 lakh expenditure for the egg scheme will be borne by the central government under its flexifund component. The department is still working out the vegetarian alternative for egg
After a lot of discussion about the state of mid day meals in Karnataka, a team of officials from the Education Department will visit Tamil Nadu on Thursday. The idea behind this visit is to do a pilot study and learn about including eggs — which are likely to be included in the mid day meals served in Karnataka soon. As per a senior official from the Department of Public Instructions, a team comprising education officials from Dharwad, and Kalaburgi will be part of the delegation.
The state has been planning to provide an egg a day to 14,44,322 children studying in Classes 1 to 8 in seven districts — Yadgir, Raichur, Bidar, Ballari, Kalaburgi, Koppal and Vijayapura for 46 days. While there are 31 districts in the state, why does the government want to provide eggs to the children in these seven districts, in particular? These seven districts have been identified as aspirational districts and have a high prevalence of malnutrition and anaemia as per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS).
Of 4,25,369 moderately malnourished children, 1,92,377 (nearly 45 per cent) are from the Kalyana Karnataka region, comprising Bidar, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal and Ballari districts. Also, 3,356 or 51 per cent of 7,627 severely underweight children are from these parts of the state. G Narayana Gowda, Joint Director, Mid-Day Meal Scheme told TNIE, "We will be providing the eggs to seven districts for 46 days from December to February. Rs 3953.14 lakh expenditure for the egg scheme will be borne by the central government under its flexifund component. However, the department is still working out the vegetarian alternative to eggs too. The product or food that has to be included will be finalised by October 7 and will be milk-based and infused with millets. It will either be an energy ball or energy bar."
Meanwhile, the National Coalition for Education Emergency, who have been demanding resumption of mid day meals in schools, met the Commissioner for Public Instructions, Vishal R, on September 28. When they asked about restarting the programme, as schools were opening at 100 percent capacity from October 1 for Classes VI and above, he said that the decision regarding mid day meals lies with the government. All beneficiary schools have been instructed to stay prepared for resumption of the scheme across the state. At present, the tentative date for resumption of the meal scheme is October 21 across Karnataka, the official added.