Supply of eggs to schools unlikely from November 1

Supply of eggs to schools unlikely from November 1
Highlights

The objective of the State government to serve nutritious eggs five days a week to the children studying in 45,000 schools and 450 junior colleges in the State during the midday meals is unlikely to be fulfilled from November 1 as the government decided to stop supply of eggs to the schools through the contract agencies

Vijayawada: The objective of the State government to serve nutritious eggs five days a week to the children studying in 45,000 schools and 450 junior colleges in the State during the midday meals is unlikely to be fulfilled from November 1 as the government decided to stop supply of eggs to the schools through the contract agencies.

The government has decided to revive the old system in which self-help groups which are cooking and serving the midday meals have to buy the eggs. Later, the government would reimburse the bills. But, generally it takes two or three months to realise the bills. It is a major problem being faced by the midday meals cooking agencies.

The Education Department has issued oral instructions to the cooking agencies in the State to purchase eggs and serve the students from November 1 onwards. The cooking agencies are raising hue and cry over the sudden instruction given by the government.

The State government with the intention of eradication of malnutrition problem among children studying in 45,000 government schools started supplying eggs directly to the schools five months ago through contract agencies. The contract period for supply of eggs will end on October 31.

The government has decided not to renew the agreement for supply of five eggs in a week from November 1 onwards. The cooking agencies will continue the menu with vegetable curries and Dal from November 1 onwards. Now, the government decided to supply red gram and edible oil to the schools for cooking and serving the children.

Deputy Education Officer, Vijayawada, Konda Ravi, said the government had withdrawn the scheme of supplying five eggs in a week. He said the cooking agencies have to purchase eggs and later they can claim the bills.

But, the cooking agencies managed by self-help groups are raising hue and cry that they could not afford purchasing eggs due to financial constraints. The government takes two months to sanction the bills, said a cook serving food in Vijayawada Municipal Corporation School.

The government faced severe criticism due to supply of rotten and very small eggs by the contract agencies to the schools. After nearly five months of struggle, the government is withdrawing five eggs per week scheme.

Honorary payment for cooking food is Rs 2,000 a month. Besides, the government is not supplying cooking gas to the agencies though the agencies have been demanding it for a long time. Earlier, National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC) took up a vigorous campaign in the State to promote consumption of eggs in the government schools.

As part of it, NECC consultant K Balaswamy visited several districts in the State and campaigned in favour of serving eggs in midday meals. Balaswamy explained the importance of eggs to the growing children.

Municipal Teachers Federation State president S Ramakrishna said the cooking agencies were facing problems with delay in releasing bills and felt the bills should be cleared as early as possible so that they can buy eggs.

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