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18 lakh school kids in Telangana to get dry rations

No mid-day meals yet, poor kids miss nutrition, studies
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No mid-day meals yet, poor kids miss nutrition, studies

Highlights

State government is to take a final call on the proposal to finalise the modalities on providing the children studying in 27,485 schools with dry ration in place of cooked meal

Hyderabad: Primary and Upper Primary school students studying in the 27,485 government schools may get dry rations in place of the cooked meal as a part of the mid-day meal.

However, the State government has to take a final call on the proposal to finalise the modalities.

About 18 lakh children are studying in 27,485 primary and upper primary schools in Telangana. Besides, the State government has been providing mid-day meal to the students of classes IX and X. Currently, the State has an 87 per cent mid-day meal coverage of the students enrolled in the schools.

Speaking to The Hans India, a senior official from the State Education Department, Adilabad, said that it is impossible to reach out children to serve the cooked meal. "It is not possible to be operational to the existing logistics and run the kitchens to cook and then send the cooked food to the students given the current COVID scenario that led to the closure of the schools," the official added.

For example, in Adilabad district, there are 1,186 schools divided into 17 education blocks. Within these blocks, the Utnoor mandal alone has 146 schools, under which, 9 clusters are operating, and 14 Ashram High Schools have been functioning under Naraspur.

This makes it impossible to reach out to every child to deliver the cooked meal, he added.

When contacted, the State Director of School Education, A Sridevasena said that the State government has been providing additional ration to the usual quantity of ration being provided to each family under the Public Distribution Scheme (PDS).

The additional ration provided would partly address the nutritional issue as envisioned in the mid-day meal.

However, the State government will decide as to what additional provisions should be provided, taking into consideration the objectives of the mid-day meal. This includes finalising the kind of food grains to be provided as a part of the ration through the PDS.

A senior official in the Civil Supplies department said that there is no dearth of availability of the supply of food grains for the allocation to the mid-day meal. Earlier, the Centre had extended the time frame for the states who have not lifted the grains allocated to the mid-day meal scheme in the first and second quarters. However, the same has been lifted extending it till December 31.

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