Vice President suggests to include milk in Mid-day Meal Scheme
The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has suggested that milk can be given either as part of breakfast or the mid-day meal. This will improve the nutritional levels of children.
Mid-day meal scheme
- The Mid-day Meal Scheme is a meal programme that has been formulated for taking care of the nutrition among the of school-age children countrywide.
- It supplies free lunch for children in primary and upper primary classes in government and government aided centres.
- Mid-Day Meal Programme was first introduced for disadvantaged children in Madras Municipal Corporation in 1925.
- By the mid-1980s three States viz. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the UT of Pondicherry had universalized a cooked Mid-Day Meal Programme
- By 1990-91 the number of States implementing the mid-day meal increased to 12.
- The first state to launch the scheme was Tamil Nadu.
Legislations supporting the Scheme
- Convention on the Rights of the Child, under which India has committed to yield adequate nutritious food for children.
- National Food Security Act, 2013 that covers The mid-day meal scheme and the Integrated Child Development Services scheme and the Public Distribution System among others.
- People’s Union for Civil Liberties v. Union of India case, that concluded that ”right to food” is derived from “right to life” under article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Nutrition status of India
According to the Global Nutrition Report, 2020, which is released by world health organisation, India is going to miss global nutrition targets set for the year 2025. The report also highlighted that India has highest rates of domestic inequalities, especially in malnutrition.
Thus, the call for including milk in the Mid-day meal scheme would increase the nutrition level of children and would help poultry and dairy sectors to come over the problems they have faced in the COVID-19 pandemic situation.