'Keep records on noon meal scheme aid'

Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has also asked them to ensure that only “freshly” prepared food items are provided to the schoolchildren.

The Centre has asked Karnataka and other states to ensure that the schools under them maintain a separate register for the food items and donations they receive from the local community to provide meals to students on festivals and other special occasions as part of a supplementary food programme under the midday meal (MDM) scheme.

Issuing comprehensive guidelines for the implementation of such programmes, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has also asked them to ensure that only “freshly” prepared food items are provided to the schoolchildren. “The expiry date should be checked in case of any packed items. The food items should contain adequate nutrients and should be palatable, hygienic, and operationally feasible. Vegetables, fruit and perishable food commodities should be selected fresh for consumption,” it said.

First guidelines

This is the first guidelines that the ministry has issued to the states for implementation of the supplementary food programme under the MDM scheme.

As many as 11 states have introduced this programme in their schools with local nomenclatures like ‘Shalegagi Naavu Neevu’ in Karnataka; ‘Sneh Bhojan’ in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra; ‘Anna Dhanam’ in Puducherry; ‘Beti ka Janamdin’ in Haryana, ‘Tithi Bhojan’ in Chandigarh, Uttarakhand and Gujarat.

Full meal

Under the programme, community members provide either a complete full meal or food items in the form of sweets, fruit, sprouts and other items, or donate for food provisions for students on special occasions such as festivals, anniversaries, birthdays, marriages, and days of national importance.

Highlighting its significance, the ministry urged all other states to introduce a similar programme either calling it as ‘Tithi Bhojan’ or using any other local nomenclature.

“States have been urged to adopt and introduce the programme as it not only serves as supplementation of the nutritional value of the midday meal provided to children under the Centre-sponsored scheme but also help develop a sense of belonging among the community and a rapport with them,” a ministry official said.

The ministry has advised states to involve district collectors in community mobilisation.

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'Keep records on noon meal scheme aid'

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