akshaya-patra

NEW DELHI: The Delhi government is all set to serve mid-day meals in all government schools with the help of the Akshaya Patra Foundation. The decision was discussed in the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. The government sources confirmed that the proposal is likely to get passed in the next Cabinet meeting. "We cannot provide any land to them to make the mid-day meal but they have decided to prepare it from their own space. Now we have various NGOs who provide the meal but we have received many complaints on the distribution of mid-day meal," said an official.

Earlier, the deputy chief minister said in the Delhi Assembly that the existing mid-day meal contractors are not dedicated to the "spirit of service". He said the government is working on a strict tendering process under which action will be taken against contractors if they were found negligent in serving mid-day meals. The issue was that Akshaya Patra wanted land for a period of 10-15 years, but the former LG Najeeb Jung said that land should be given only for the remaining tenure of the AAP government.

The government last year announced that it would expand the scheme beyond primary and upper primary classes for girl students in all its schools. In another major government decision, the students would be provided eggs and bananas in their plates as part of the scheme. The scheme aims at fighting malnourishment and anaemia, especially in girl students. This may be the first in the country that a state government has extended the scheme to Classes 9 to 12.

During the last budget speech, Deputy CM and Education Minister Manish Sisodia had announced that the scheme will be implemented in 433 schools covering 2,70,000 girls from the 2017-18 academic session. The mid-day meal scheme was started in 1995 for classes I-VIII. In Delhi, the scheme is in place in 1,030 government schools, with 7,59,000 beneficiaries, and in 178 government-aided schools covering 75,950 children. According to the government, the scheme by Akshaya Patra Foundation could not be implemented as it was examining health aspects related to the food.

Source: millenniumpost              Dated: March 6, 2018