Bengaluru: Though dependent on the Akshaya Patra to run its midday meal programme, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is considering asking another private player to supply eggs as a supplement.
The chairman of the Palike’s education committee Imran Pasha told DH that adding eggs in the midday meals will meet the nutritional needs of students in BBMP schools and colleges. “The eggs would be provided by another vendor, while the Akshaya Patra foundation would continue to supply the meals,” he said.
He said the BBMP has allotted Rs 1 crore for the meals, while funds specifically for the eggs would be set aside after preparing a proposal.
The mid-day meals are provided by the Akshaya Patra Foundation to more than 17,000 students in 138 BBMP schools, 14 PU colleges and four Undergraduate colleges in Bengaluru.
An Akshaya Patra foundation spokesperson said the organisation would not object to the BBMP procuring eggs from a different vendor and supplying it to the schools.
“The Akshaya Patra midday meals programme for schools follows the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (Iskcon) principle of vegetarianism in its cooking. It strictly avoids meat, fish, and eggs,” the spokesperson said.
“If the BBMP wants to provide eggs, we will not supply them to the school directly. The school management or concerned authority can procure eggs by other means and provide them to school,” the spokesperson added. Pasha said the eggs will be supplied by a separate vendor.
In December, the inclusion of onions and garlic in the Akshaya Patra midday meal programme kicked up controversy even as several NGOs demanded eggs to be added as a supplement.
Organisations and a few experts wrote to the Women and Child Development ministry saying including eggs would greatly enhance the nutritional value of the meals supplied to children.
Source: Deccan Herald dated March 11, 2019.