Eggs in midday meal help boost attendance in Bengal, Telangana: Study by seventh JRM

The findings of the seventh joint review mission (JRM) come just a few months after Shivraj Singh Chouhan shot down a proposal to serve eggs to children in anganwadis on a trial basis.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 14, 2015 3:26 am

Introduction of eggs in the midday meal menu has helped improve attendance in schools in Bengal and Telangana, a study commissioned by the Union Human Resource Development Ministry has found.

The findings of the seventh joint review mission (JRM) come just a few months after Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan shot down a proposal to serve eggs to children in anganwadis (pre-school) on a trial basis.

Chouhan, a strict vegetarian himself, had rejected the idea after receiving a representation from the Jain community.
Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi too had said she was against offering eggs in anganwadis, as they are perishable and full of cholesterol. She had also said that serving eggs could lead to corruption.

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The eight-member team of the seventh JRM visited Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal and Assam in March this year to monitor the progress of the world’s largest school meal programme, which serves over 10 crore children across 12 lakh schools.

In Bengal, egg curry is served twice a week. The JRM observed that there was an increase in attendance specifically on days when egg was on the menu.

“Students attended the schools in large number whenever the egg was served,” the JRM stated in its final report, adding that teachers reported that “children were much happier on the days when the egg is served than on other days”.

The addition of eggs to the midday meal menu has been at the centre of a heated debate ever since the HRD Ministry advised state governments to emulate each other’s good practices, including the serving of eggs.

Apart from Bengal and Telangana, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh are among the states that have introduced eggs in their school midday meals.

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  1. K
    Kaliyug
    Oct 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm
    Has the Egg helped in Math scores also? Some politician has interest in poultry farm and has come out with this new statistics. To ensure full attendance the parents of the children should be permanently fixed from having any more babies.
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    1. D
      Das
      Oct 26, 2015 at 6:05 am
      Shiv Rajiv Chauhsn's decision of not giving egg would be considered reasonable if he had provided children equivalent source of proteins, vitamins and minerals as snow egg. But he has not. His action is highly damaging.
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      1. S
        Stephen Billings
        Oct 14, 2015 at 4:33 pm
        If you do not serve healthy food to children how will they grow up to be vegetarians? Eggs are a very healthy food and there is no good reason not to serve to children. This food policing has got to stop. The main thing is to have healthy kids who turn in to healthy adults and if you do not give them the food they need to grow then what purpose have you served? Let them decide if they want to be vegetarians as adults in the mean time feed them healthy good food and stop the religious policing!
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