By Amit Tiwari
Jamshedpur: In a bid to extend benefits of the midday meal scheme of the state government, the district education department has chalked out plans to include 20,000 children under the scheme.
Department sources said the department was planning to bring in more children in the ambit of the scheme with the view to ensure that more and more children get midday meal in schools. For this purpose, a list of schools is being prepared by the department so as to ensure an early implementation of the plan.
Contacted, the district superintendent of education, East Singhbhum, Indu Bhushan Singh, said, “We have worked out a target of including 50 per cent more children under the midday meal scheme as beneficiaries. This will include students from the government schools located in the fringe areas of Jamshedpur. Many such schools are located in Dimna, Potka, Ghatsila, Bhilaipahari and other parts of the district.”
At present, around 40,000 children get midday meal supplied by a central kitchen set up for the purpose and run by ISKCON. The central kitchen supplies midday meal to a total of 305 schools situated in Jamshedpur and Adityapur (Seraikela-Kharsawan). Half the present number of beneficiaries will be added in the next few months, sources said.
Department sources further informed that the midday meal cell of the department had prepared a route chart in a bid to connect more government schools located at the city fringes to the central kitchen. This will lead to a larger ambit of the scheme and ensure that many more children get the midday meal in schools as a motivation to continue coming to school, sources said.
The DSE said the midday meal supply to new schools will soon be started as the department was about to finish the planning. He said only such schools are being considered at present where midday meal may be supplied easily within two to three hours from the central kitchen. This will ensure timely and sure supply of food to the schools. If schools are far away, it will be difficult for the central kitchen staff to supply the meal in time.
The move by the district education department to include more children comes in the wake of a directive issued by the principal secretary of the state government recently. The directive includes instructions to include many more schools deprived so far from the benefits of the midday meal scheme, sources said.
Sources revealed that the state human resources development department had directed all district education departments to make sure that the midday meal scheme is expanded to encompass more schools and children with a view to take the benefits to a larger number of children.
Many of such children do not come to school regularly and also do not get regular and nutritious diet. In order to provide nutrition as well as motivation to such children, the government wants to implement the scheme on a much larger scale.
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