Updated: December 14, 2021 1:45:44 pm
In a bid to follow-up the Karnataka government’s decision to include boiled eggs or bananas in mid-day meal to tackle malnourishment among schoolchildren in various parts of the state, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has planned to conduct a survey of students who were made part of the initiative.
According to a senior DPI official, the survey is scheduled to be carried out at the end of this month to help the bodies concerned assess improvements, if any, in the nutritional status of children. “While the primary objective of this survey is to understand whether malnourishment levels in the seven districts have reduced, the same will also be used to deliberate upon extending the scheme to more districts before the end of this academic year itself,” the official told indianexpress.com.
Following the results of the recent National Family Health Survey, the state government had introduced boiled eggs or bananas for students in Ballari, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur, Vijayapura and Yadgir districts.
The scheme, which began from the first week of December, is expected to go on till March 2022. A total of 14,44,322 students are estimated to benefit from the scheme.
However, following opposition from seers of various mutts in the state, the Karnataka government has been “exploring options” to find an alternative to boiled eggs to be included in the students’ diet.
“The state government is exploring other options to provide protein-rich food to children as an alternative to egg,” Primary and Secondary Education Minister B C Nagesh said in Mandya last week. He was responding specifically to whether the government was reconsidering the move. Nagesh further clarified that eggs “were not being forced” and those opting not to have it were provided boiled bananas as a substitute.
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