The scheme will be implemented in Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, Ballari,and Vijayapura where malnutrition among children is high.

Two rows of children sitting at a corridor and eating mod-day mealsImage for representation
news Nutrition Thursday, November 25, 2021 - 10:54

In what comes as a resolution to the long-standing demand of several students, families and activists, the Karnataka government has announced that eggs will be included in the mid-day meal scheme. In an order dated November 23, the Department of Public Instruction said that eggs will be a part of mid-day meals in government schools of seven districts in north Karnataka — Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, Ballari,and Vijayapura. Those children who do not eat eggs will be given bananas instead.

The move aims to battle malnourishment and anemia, of which instances are high in the seven districts, the government said. Boiled eggs or bananas will be provided to students with malnourishment between the ages of 6 and 15, the order states. The programme is set to begin from December 1, and will continue till March. Earlier, in 2020, several organisation, doctors and activists had written to the Karnataka government, urging it to make eggs a mandatory item in the mid-day meals. 

Schools will have to provide eggs or bananas to the children 12 times a month, however the days on which they are provided are at the discretion of the school. For this, the government will provide schools with Rs 6 per child, 12 times per month. Apart from this, the physical measurements of the students such as height and weight will be recorded at the beginning and end of every month until March 2022.

According to the order, there are over 14,44,322 children studying in Class 1 to Class 8 in  Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, Ballari, Vijayapur and Dharwad, who would be beneficiaries of the scheme.

The seven districts top the chart in terms of children, between classes 1-8, who are malnourished. Yadgir district has 74% of students suffering from malnutrition and anemia. This is followed by  72.4% in Kalaburagi, 72.3% in Ballari, 70.7% in Koppal, 70.6% in Raichur, 69.1% in Bidar and 68% of students in Viayapura are found to be malnourished.

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