From June to October, lakhs of students in the state were deprived of the food they would otherwise receive through the mid-day meal scheme.

A representative image of school children sitting in line eating lunch served under the midday meals schemeRepresentative image
news Policy Tuesday, November 03, 2020 - 20:32

The Karnataka government on Tuesday issued an order to distribute dry ration kits, that have been pending since June, to students studying in government and aided schools. From June to October, lakhs of students in the state were deprived of the food they would otherwise receive through the mid-day meal scheme. The government will now disburse al the kits in one go. 

The order issued by the state government said that dry rations will be released to be distributed to students in the government and aided schools in the state for five months from June to October. The order stated that rice, toor dal, and oil will be provided for students of Classes 1 to 10.  "The funds needed to implement the mid-day meal scheme - Rs 44,984.87 lakh - will be released," read the order.  

It also stated that the Commissioner of Public Instruction will issue guidelines for precautionary measures to be followed while distributing the dry ration in schools. Accordingly, funds will be released district-wise for providing dry rations. Rs 2,276.53 lakh will be released to Bengaluru Urban district while Rs 1,749 lakh will be released to Mysuru district. The funds will be provided for schools which will procure the ration items to be given to students. 

Last week, a letter sent to the state government by a collective of citizens and activists in Karnataka said that the Karnataka government's decision would worsen the nutrition crisis among children in the state.

Responses from three districts — Kolar, Davangere and Tumakuru — to an RTI query by independent researcher Siddarth Joshi had found that dry ration kits were not provided to students since June. Concerned citizens also pointed out that dry rations were not provided in other districts in the state too. 

Read: Activists say K'taka govt’s delay to give dry ration to students will worsen nutrition crisis

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