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Mid-Day Meal Scheme Should Be Re-Activated With Provision Of Cooked Meals On Reopening Of Schools

Noting that the mid-day meal scheme represents the lifeline for millions of school children in the country, the United Nations World Food Programme India has said as the schools re-open, the scheme will also need to be reactivated with the provision of hot, cooked meals

Mid-Day Meal Scheme Should Be Re-Activated With Provision Of Cooked Meals On Reopening Of Schools
Highlights
  • Mid-Day Meals partially reopened in some states from October 15
  • MDMs are incentive for parents to send their children to school: UN
  • COVID-19 pandemic disrupted school meal schemes: UN

New Delhi: Noting that the mid-day meal scheme represents the lifeline for millions of school children in the country, the UN WFP (United Nations World Food Programme) India has said as the schools re-open, the scheme will also need to be reactivated with the provision of hot, cooked meals. The UN’s World Food Programme country director Bishow Parajuli said India offers a shining example through its existing food safety nets and the collaborative response it undertook to try and ensure that the coronavirus-triggered lockdowns did not disrupt the nutrition of the school children.

Also Read: 115 Million Children Risk Malnutrition Due To COVID-19 Pandemic: India Child Well-being Report

The involvement of state agencies, civil society organisations and multilateral agencies to avert hunger ensured collaboration, including the creation of a standard operating procedure for procuring, preparing and serving mid-day meals. The MDM scheme represents predictable support and the lifeline for millions of school children in the country and has a significant impact on the children’s daily diet. As the schools reopen, this all-important scheme will also need to be re-activated with the provision of hot, cooked meals, he told PTI.

Schools across the country were closed in March last year to curb the spread of COVID-19. They were partially reopened in some states from October 15. Calling the mid-day meal scheme one of the three main food-based safety nets in India, reaching close to 10 crore school children with hot, cooked meals, Mr. Parajuli said in response to the lockdown, schools had to be closed across the country, but to ensure the continuity of the scheme, the Centre, states and Union territories issued guidelines to provide the MDM entitlement to children in kind or cash or both.

Available information suggests that most states and Union territories acted upon this guidance quickly, albeit with variability in the coverage, continuity and quality of implementation at the district or sub-district level. This guidance was aimed to help the schools prepare for re-opening with a focus on food safety, health and hygiene, he added.

A recent UN report presented evidence on the potential short and long-term negative effects of the disruption to school meal schemes during the COVID-19 pandemic globally. It shows how vulnerable the children participating in these schemes are, how coping and mitigation measures are often only short-term solutions and how prioritising the re-opening of schools is critical.

The report further highlighted how girls are at greater risk of not being in school or of being taken out of school early, which may lead to poor nutrition and health for themselves and their children. However, well-designed school feeding programmes have been shown to enable students to catch up from early growth failure and other negative shocks. As such, once the schools re-open, the meal schemes can help address the deprivation that children have experienced during the closures and provide an incentive for the parents to send and keep their children, especially girls, in school, the report said.

Also Read: National Nutrition Month: Akshaya Patra Foundation Is Improving Nutritional Quality Of Mid-day Meals Through Fortification

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

24,50,12,529Cases
20,64,25,824Active
3,36,14,434Recovered
49,72,271Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 24,50,12,529 and 49,72,271 have died; 20,64,25,824 are active cases and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 4:00 am.

India

3,42,31,809 16,156Cases
1,60,9891,672Active
3,36,14,434 17,095Recovered
4,56,386 733Deaths
In India, there are 3,42,31,809 confirmed cases including 4,56,386 deaths. The number of active cases is 1,60,989 and 3,36,14,434 have recovered as on October 28, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

66,06,536 1,485

23,096 3,500

64,43,342 4,947

1,40,098 38

Kerala

49,38,603 9,445

77,158 2,100

48,31,468 6,723

29,977 622

Karnataka

29,86,835 282

8,459 80

29,40,339 349

38,037 13

Tamil Nadu

26,98,493 1,075

12,288 252

26,50,145 1,315

36,060 12

Andhra Pradesh

20,64,854 567

4,777 122

20,45,713 437

14,364 8

Uttar Pradesh

17,10,114 13

100 6

16,87,115 7

22,899

West Bengal

15,89,042 976

7,973 124

15,61,973 837

19,096 15

Delhi

14,39,709 38

348 25

14,14,270 13

25,091

Odisha

10,39,818 549

4,392 213

10,27,108 334

8,318 2

Chhattisgarh

10,05,926 28

263 14

9,92,088 12

13,575 2

Rajasthan

9,54,411 4

20 0

9,45,437 4

8,954

Gujarat

8,26,481 17

173 2

8,16,220 15

10,088

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,804 20

108 9

7,82,172 10

10,524 1

Haryana

7,71,204 15

133 5

7,61,022 10

10,049

Bihar

7,26,073 5

41 1

7,16,371 4

9,661

Telangana

6,70,829 186

4,164 63

6,62,714 122

3,951 1

Assam

6,09,506 244

3,838 153

5,99,681 391

5,987 6

Punjab

6,02,289 38

246 20

5,85,487 16

16,556 2

Jharkhand

3,48,705 28

160 30

3,43,408 56

5,137 2

Uttarakhand

3,43,861 17

150 6

3,36,312 23

7,399

Jammu And Kashmir

3,31,865 70

838 16

3,26,596 86

4,431

Himachal Pradesh

2,23,406 261

1,972 211

2,17,693 48

3,741 2

Goa

1,77,969 23

454 29

1,74,152 51

3,363 1

Puducherry

1,27,846 40

443 10

1,25,546 50

1,857

Manipur

1,23,473 70

844 29

1,20,712 97

1,917 2

Mizoram

1,19,496 547

7,320 446

1,11,752 991

424 2

Tripura

84,438 15

123 1

83,499 14

816

Meghalaya

83,466 51

507 22

81,511 71

1,448 2

Chandigarh

65,331 5

29 2

64,482 3

820

Arunachal Pradesh

55,120 6

115 22

54,725 28

280

Sikkim

31,925 13

177 1

31,353 12

395

Nagaland

31,759 12

222 3

30,856 15

681

Ladakh

20,925 8

47 6

20,670 2

208

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,682 1

6 0

10,672 1

4

Lakshadweep

10,365

0 0

10,314

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,650 2

5 1

7,516 1

129

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