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HRD ministry set to adopt Gujarat’s Tithi Bhojan concept

Meeting chaired by HRD Minister Smriti Irani, to be held on Wednesday is expected to approve the introduction of the concept of Tithi Bhojan.

Written by Ruhi Tewari | New Delhi |
October 15, 2014 2:09:33 am

Taking inspiration from Gujarat and replicating its model, the HRD Ministry is planning to introduce greater public participation as well as involvement of religious and charitable institutions in its Mid-day Meal Scheme through the concept of “Tithi Bhojan” to ensure more effective community monitoring.

A meeting of the empowered committee for the scheme, chaired by the HRD Minister Smriti Irani, to be held on Wednesday is expected to approve the introduction of the concept of Tithi Bhojan — an initiative taken by the Gujarat government — at the national level. Under the concept in Gujarat, villagers sponsor the food, with sweets, for children on different occasions and also make contributions in kind by providing utensils etc.

In a meeting of state education secretaries in end August, the ministry had asked states to “explore possibilities” of involving institutions like “Tirupati Devstanam Trust, gurudwaras, trusts, mosques, temples etc in serving MDM in the schools in their vicinity to ensure better community participation and to enhance awareness about the scheme”.

In order to bring incidents and complaints about Mid-day Meal to the forefront, the ministry is planning to create an open forum on the scheme’s website where views can be shared online — another key item on the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting.

The meeting will also discuss the recommendations of the expert committee for assessing adequacy, quality and safety of the food served. The committee, set up last year, has noted the “crucial role” of the community in checking ingredients of the meal , preventing micro biological contamination and mandatory testing of meals at kitchen level.

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