Mid-day meal scheme makes strides
From coarse quality to fine rice, watery dal to millet snacks and firewood cooking to LPG stove, the sheer concept of the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme, aimed at enhancing enrolment, retention and attendance, and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among schoolchildren, appears to be on right path in Warangal Urban district.
Warangal: From coarse quality to fine rice, watery dal to millet snacks and firewood cooking to LPG stove, the sheer concept of the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme, aimed at enhancing enrolment, retention and attendance, and simultaneously improving nutritional levels among schoolchildren, appears to be on right path in Warangal Urban district.
Finally, the days of insipid half-cooked rice, watery dal, a soup like curry etc. cooked on a firewood stove, prone to be contaminated, have come to an end with the administration taking special emphasis on the implementation of MDM scheme.
Warangal Urban district administration needs a pat on its back since the results started to show up positive vibes in terms of students’ enrolment, retention and attendance. Alone in Urban district, the number of meal beneficiaries is 49,430 covering 678 schools.
It costs the government Rs 3.28 lakh a day. The district consumes 58.9 quintals of fine rice a day. The menu also includes egg thrice a week, dal, wheat and millet snacks.As of now, there are 1,306 cook-cum-helpers to prepare the meals.
However, from the next academic year, the responsibility of supplying mid-day meals is entrusted to Akshaya Patra Foundation. Currently, the foundation is supplying mid-day meals to Anganwadi schools of the ICDS in the district. A mega kitchen is being constructed near Gorrekunta, suburbs of Warangal, for the purpose.
Speaking to The Hans India, District Education Officer K Narayana Reddy said: “Massive improvement in enrolment and attendance is what that suggests the successful implementation of mid-day meal scheme. The percentage of school age children not pursuing education is just 0.6 in the Urban district.”
“We will take up follow up measures during this summer holidays to retain the number of children turning to schools.
A door-to-door activity to reach out the parents to continue the education of their wards is on our agenda,” he said.
District Collector Amrapali Kata, who monitors meal plan implementation with the updates she gets on WhatsApp every day, said: “There would not be a single child away from education. All the schools in the district are equipped with basic infrastructure such as toilets with running water, digital classrooms and compound walls, besides providing nutritious food.”
Emphasis is also on to attract students from private institutions to State-run schools through village committees, she said.It may be noted here that pictures of students of all schools attending the prayer in the morning will be posted on WhatsApp group of the education department so that the Collector and DEO could monitor the attendance of children