What is the Mid-Day Meal Programme?
Mid-day meal programme provides lunch to school children in India. This is again a very good initiative concerning the health standards. This lunch is freshly cooked and wholesome.
An order was passed on November 28, 2001. The Supreme Court of India passed this order.
It states the following:
“We direct the State Governments/Union Territories to implement the Mid-Day Meal Scheme by providing every child in every Government and Government assisted Primary School with a prepared mid-day meal.”
Mid-Day Meal Scheme aims to
- Avoid the pressurizing hunger children face in the classrooms
- Some students don’t come to school because they don’t have a suitable meal. This will increase the enrollment as well
- The attendance levels in many government schools have been seen dropping since past years. This will, therefore, help the school’s maintain a good attendance and also increase literacy.
- It improves socialization among castes
- Malnutrition is a big problem and people are still not aware of it. This step provides awareness towards malnutrition and also initiates a healthy meal to avoid it.
- Mid-day meal scheme needs a lot of labour and cooking. So it will provide employment to a lot of women.
Implementation of Mid-Day Meal Scheme
- The Mid day meal scheme was passed after a proper verification process by reputed foundations ensuring the quality product. A particular foundation named as the Akshaya Patra Foundation was being called to give testimonials for the verification of efficiency of the scheme.
- This foundation has its own school lunch programme in Karnataka which is considered very successful.
- Each government has started its own Mid-Day Meal programme. All these efforts will sum up to the success of the scheme. The government of Karnataka has also initiated Akshara Dasoha scheme with almost the same benefits.
- Now, while planning the scheme there were not many complications but the implementation is a big challenge for the government and labour as well. According to some guidelines released in 2006, the government had the vision to promote public – private partnership for the programme.
- Not-for-profits, such as Akshaya Patra, are therefore encouraged to set up operations and act as the implementing arm of the Government.
The Karnataka Human Development Report of 2005 states that the recognition of voluntary roles of agencies was influenced by the Government of Karnataka. The Karnataka government brought NGO’s into major government sponsored programmes. The role was basically the partnership of Government initiatives by the Centre.
Also, the Karnataka Human Development Report 2005 has some more information to give as well. According to the report, this step of involving NGO’s for the development of programmes was first taken up by the Government of Karnataka. All this has raised the level of cooperation and coexistence drastically. The NGO’s get to enter a new phase of designing and management united with the government at every level. This makes them more than just implementers.
Now this drastic move by the Government of Karnataka has been a major reason for the success of the programme. The NGO’s emerging as the implementing arms of the Government has made a big change. All this has influenced the Central government through achievements of the public -private relationship. This initiative improves the skills and resources of the private sector by directing the efforts in a better way. India’s Mid Day Meal Scheme has now become the largest school lunch programme in the world.
According to the statistics, 1.15 million schools and 104 million children were covered during 2013-14.
The Mid Day Meal scheme is a big success and also adds to the overall development of the country. The combined efforts of the government and others have helped to bring up the levels of mid day meals served in various parts of the country. Some states have shown excellent improvement and the children love the mid day meals being served there. We hope that the scheme keeps progressing the same way and children get delicious food at their respective schools. This will also help to increase the literacy levels of the country and develop it. The Mid day meal programme has now attained world recognition which is great.
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