The Andhra Pradesh government has extended the state’s nutritious mid-day meal programme to all the stranded migrant workers in the state to ensure they don’t go hungry or feel left out during the lockdown period.
The mid-day meal programme with a revised menu was launched by the YSR Congress Party government in 2015 and is designed to ensure that children in government schools get healthy and nutritious food. “The Government of India has asked states to provide facilities like accommodation, food and water to all the migrant workers during the lockdown period. Apart from providing accommodation, AP Government has gone one step ahead and has decided to provide the mid-meal scheme menu to the migrants also so that they stay healthy during this crisis. The government is also providing other commodities like blankets, tooth pastes, soaps, shampoo and oil to the migrants accommodated at various relief centres so that their stay is comfortable,” Giriraj Shekar, Commissioner, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development, said.
The mid-day meal menu, which was revised as part of the government’s reforms in education sector, comprises, apart from sambhar and rice, eggs five days a week, and leafy vegetable curry, dal, tomato dal, pulihora, khichidi, potato curry, vegetable rice, pongali and chutney. “As per directions of the CM, district authorities are serving the mid-meals to the migrants also at the relief centres. It is important that they do not feel neglected or abandoned in the state where they come to work from far away. We not only won’t let them go hungry but ensure that they get healthy and nutritious food,” an official said.
Officials said the state is taking care of 9,695 migrants who are accommodated in 218 relief centres out of which 3,819 belong to various districts in Andhra Pradesh while 5,876 hail from 28 states in the country with the exception of Tripura.
The maximum number of migrant workers — 2,331 — have been accommodated in 10 relief centres in Kurnool, followed by 1,740 in West Godavari district in 19 centres. Most of them are farm workers, aquaculture workers, or work in the food processing units. In Chittoor, 1,285 are in 14 centres, 1,193 in 18 centres in Krishna, 651 in 20 centres in Anantapur, 690 in 18 centres in East Godavari, 776 in 69 centres in Prakasam, 173 in 16 centres in Srikakulam, 177 in 9 centres in Vizianagaram, and 654 in 13 centres in Visakhapatnam.
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