The Karnataka government has decided to provide boiled eggs, bananas and groundnut cakes to school children along with the midday meal.
The programme, taken up with an objective of addressing the issue of malnutrition among school children studying from Class 1 to Class 8, will be started as soon as possible, Education Minister B.C. Nagesh told IANS.
“These are the best available protein-rich items for the students. The purchase of eggs and other items will be made by the School Development Management Committees (SDMC). The eggs will be boiled in school premises along with midday meals,” he said.
Nagesh also said that no student will be forced to consume eggs, and vegetarian students can choose groundnut cakes and bananas.
In the initiative taken up under the Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman Scheme, students, across the state, from Class 1 to 8 will get eggs, bananas, and groundnut cake for 46 days in an academic year.
The state government had implemented the pilot programme in aspirational districts (most backward) through Karnataka School Education and Literacy Department and district administration.
Since the scheme was successful, Commissioner of Public Instruction Dr R. Vishal had sent a proposal to the government to provide the special diet food along with midday meal for 100 days to school students. However, the government had given approval for special diet food along with midday meals for 46 days.
The decision to provide boiled egg to students had stirred a controversy and many demanded that egg should not be distributed at schools as it amounts to discrimination.
Religious seers and agitators demanded the government to distribute eggs at home. However, another section objected to it strongly.