Children belonging to the tribal Irula community were not being provided with eggs during the midday meal at their school in a tribal settlement in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri district, leading to protests.
Nine Irula children – five boys and four girls – are studying in the Panchayat Union Primary School at Kadambakuttai in Denkanikottai taluk of Krishnagiri.
While the Tamil Nadu government has been stressing a highly nutritious noon meal scheme for Scheduled Tribe students in the state but, the Irula children here are not getting even an egg a day.
The school does not have a cook and a student’s mother M. Deviani cooks for them. She said that the school receives dry ration for noon meals once in two months. Deviani also said that she used to receive eggs for two weeks from the noon meal organiser and that she had to carry eggs and other provisions uphill to the school.
The headmaster of the school also said that he had reminded the noon meal organiser to supply eggs, but she did not agree. Officials, however, claim that the eggs are not supplied due to rains.
Social activist and NGO Krishnagiri study centre’s chief coordinator M.K. Gopalakrishnan told IANS that the official who is in charge of the school has to supply the food to the educational institution concerned and if he or she is not doing that, stringent action has to be taken… the shortage of eggs in the noon meal scheme is totally unjustified.”
Several other activists also came out strongly against the failure of the district administration to deliver the eggs to a tribal school that is exclusively for Irula tribals.