Nagpur: After a gap of almost two years, a fresh-cooked mid day meal (MDM) will be started in schools in Maharashtra again from Tuesday. The serving of mid-day meals was completely stopped in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and only dry ration packets were handed over to the beneficiaries.
The district in charge of the mid-day meal scheme, Gautam Gedam, has said that the scheme will start statewide once again. They are fully prepared in Nagpur and all the stakeholders have also been informed. And care will also be taken to ensure that the safety guidelines are followed.
The state government has also given full permission for a lunch break in schools. Due to which it has become possible to serve mid-day meal. Even before the lunch break was not allowed at all for fear of spreading the infection, Because students used to sit in groups and remove masks while having food.
Maharashtra was distributing ration packets once a month for the last two years. The dry ration was supplied as per the guidelines of the Central Government. These guidelines give detailed information about how many grams of pulses / rice should be given per day to different age groups. While cooking food in the afternoon, weights and measures are used. About 100 grams of rice is also given daily to the children of classes I to V.
Pack dry ration for anyone
Whereas for classes VI-VIII this quantity is increased and increases to 150 grams per day. This scheme is applicable only for the students of class I-VIII.
A school principal has also said that this was the right thing to do because in the years 2020 and 2021, the attendance still did not reach close to 100%. Because of this it was not practical at all to cook food for anyone and then pack dry ration for anyone.
The teacher of the Parishad school in another district has said that the two systems cannot exist in parallel at all. Because, a student can attend school only for about 15 days and remain absent for the rest. This means there is additional work for the teachers who will have to weigh and pack the dry ration accordingly.