The Mid Day Meal is the world’s largest Indian school hunger feeding program started in 1925. Reaching out to 12 crore children in over 12.65 lakh schools across the country. Mid Day Meal with enhanced calorific energy content and increased quantity of proteins in food, is expected to improve the nutritional status of children.
The main objective of MDM Program in India is to boost the enrollment of children to schools and stop their hunger. Mid Day Meal Program will surely encourage poor children belonging to disadvantaged sections of the society to attend school more regularly.
- 11 crore children benefit from hot cooked nutritious food in 12 lakh schools.
- 5.77 lakh kitchen-cum-store have been constructed to ensure safety of foodgrains and ensure hygienic meals to the children.
- 24 lakh cook cum helpers mainly from sc/st & obc communities have been engaged to provide mid day meal to the school children.
The concept of mid-day meal scheme is not new in India as its roots can be traced back to pre-independence era when British administration initiated a Mid Day Meal Programme for disadvantage children in Madras Municipal Corporation in 1925.
The concept and the purpose of initiating anything is always good but when it comes to the management then we are miserable.
Recently 79 students of a government school in Bhilwara district of Rajasthan were admitted to hospital as they fell ill after consuming mid-day meal. This happened because of the food poisoning caused by a dead lizard found in the food.
Such stories has put a question mark on the management system.
To keep a check, a mid-day meal monitoring committee has been set up. Government is now focusing to strengthen the committee further so that such incidences can be avoided. The committee will monitor the qualitative parameters such as hygiene. After all, the success of mid-day meal scheme depends upon the quality and how effectively the entire chain is managed.