Midday meal: Soon, students will be served eggs and bananas
The department, which released a government resolution (GR) on Tuesday, stated that presently, under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana’, the central government has also instructed states to examine the possibility of including locally available food items, cereals, etc.
Mumbai: For the first time, around two crore students in civic-run schools will soon be served egg pulao, egg biryani, sweets, vegetables, and fruits as part of their midday meal, which currently includes a humble serving of khichdi.
To enhance the quality and nutritional value of students’ diets, the state government appointed a committee headed by celebrity chef Vishnu Manohar to suggest improvements in the midday meal menu.
The committee submitted its report to the government in September. After reviewing the committee’s suggestions, the state education department decided to introduce eggs as a part of midday meals. “To provide healthy food to students across the state, the government introduced eggs and bananas as a part of the midday meal and also finalised a new menu,” said Deepak Kesarkar, school education minister of the state.
The department, which released a government resolution (GR) on Tuesday, stated that presently, under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Yojana’, the central government has also instructed states to examine the possibility of including locally available food items, cereals, etc. Considering this, the department allows schools to purchase eggs from the local market, which costs not more than ₹5 each.
“We have instructed schools to provide eggs in the form of biryani, or pulao, to students on Wednesday or Friday. As for the vegetarian students, they will get bananas on the same day,” said Kesarkar. “We also plan to provide sweet dishes for everyday midday meals,” he added.
The department also plans to add soy chunks to their meals to provide a protein diet. Kesarkar further stated that the government, will also ask companies to produce flavoured soy milk. If it works well then, the government will provide the same in the next academic year.
Given the poor air quality in the city, Kesarkar said this year’s Diwali should be celebrated pollution-free. Under ‘Pollution-free Diwali Sankalp Abhiyan 2023’, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) and the Department of Environment and Climate Change will take an oath to celebrate a pollution-free Diwali on Wednesday, November 8 at noon.
Beautiful school campaign
The unique campaign ‘My school is a beautiful school’ will be implemented in the state from December 1 to January 15, 2024. “The message for this new campaign is going to be conveyed through the campaign letter written by the chief minister Eknath Shinde,” said Kesarkar.
For this, initially, 10-point criteria will be set to identify the out-of-school children, to increase the attendance of students in schools, various programs will be implemented on the topics of attendance of students in schools, their health, environmental conservation, national integration, etc. Along with this, this campaign aims to create a different awareness among the students and to create recognition of their skills.