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Mid Day Meal Scheme: Understanding Critical Issues with Reference to Ahmedabad City

By Satish Y Deodhar

Abstract

Gujarat started the scheme of Mid Day Meal Scheme in 1984 and was the only State after Tamil Nadu to start it so early. The objective was to provide one meal a day to students studying in primary classes (I-VII). In the year 2005-06 a total of 31,152 schools (86% of the total primary schools in Gujarat) with 3.8 million beneficiaries (47% of the students enrolled) were covered under this scheme. The State budget allocated for the scheme in the year 2005-06 was Rs 2 billion (Rs 201.08 crores). Secondary data and information on the working of the MDM scheme from various sources. Some suggestins were made like providing nutrition bars (or perhaps a local version like chikki) and fruits like banana could be considered as one of the menus on a couple of days. This will add variety and assured nutrition to the kids. It may seem that providing nutrition bars, especially the branded ones, my turn out to be an expensive proposition. However, if these bars are supplied in large quantities, economies of scale may reduce costs. Moreover, branded nutrition bars (say of ITC) could be provided only a couple of times a week, complemented by locally made items such as chikki on some other days. Large FMCG companies, especially the food companies like ITC are already involved in social development projects. They could be requested to channel their corporate social responsibility through MDM scheme. [WP no. 2007-03-03]mid day meal, nutrition, gujarat, ITC, budget

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