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Rajasthan: No direction from the government deprives 60 lakh students of milk

The government claims that the Bal Gopal Yojana was started with the aim of providing Nutrition-rich beverages, but if the doctors are to be believed then providing powdered milk will not address the issue of providing nutritionist food.

Jaipur— In the previous session the state government had made the declaration of providing milk for students of classes 1 to 8th. As per the scheme, 69 lakh children were to be provided with stipulated quantity of milk, but despite the directions of the government children are yet to get the milk. No one knows if the government is waiting for any auspicious occasion to provide milk to the children. People believe that the sooner the children get nutritious milk the better it is. The government claims that the Bal Gopal Yojana was started with the aim of providing Nutritionist food, but if the doctors are to be believed then providing powdered milk will not address the issue of providing nutrition-rich food. Experts believe that the main aim of the Mukhyamantri Bal Gopal Yojana is to improve the nutrition level of the children apart from increasing the enrolment, the attendance, and controlling the dropout rate.

Milk Powder being supplied for three months

69 lakh children studying at the Government Schools and the Rajasthan Madrasa board are waiting for the mid-day meal. About a month and a half ago, the government dairies sent milk powder for three months. In the last session, the announcement was made to supply milk powder for classes up to class 8th under the Mukhyamantri Bal Gopal Yojana. If the government sources are to be believed then 2364.940 metric tonnes of milk powder was to be supplied from the Government dairy (Saras) at Ajmer, Bhilwada, Alwar, Jaipur, Hanumangarh, and Raniwada plants. The dairy has supplied the milk powder to all the districts in the 1st phase.

The Scheme

As per the scheme each student studying in a government school from class 1 to 5 was to be given 15 grams milk powder in 150 ml of lukewarm water with 8.40 grams of sugar for drinking. Similarly, the students of classes 6th to 8th were to be provided with 20 grams milk powder in 200 ml of lukewarm water with 10.2-gram sugar after the morning prayer on a mandatory basis. If it is a holiday on these days then on the next day the children are to be provided with milk powder.

Milk powder reached schools like Mukhyamantri Bal Gopal Yojana [Photo- Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]
Milk powder reached schools like Mukhyamantri Bal Gopal Yojana [Photo- Abdul Mahir, The Mooknayak]

District-wise supply of milk

District Education Officer (Primary) Govind Dixit told The Mooknayak that the Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation Sawai Madhopur was allotted the preparation of milk powder for 15272 students of classes 1 to 8th and 7429 students studying at madrasas. Milk powder supplied sufficient for three months has been supplied. Similarly, 89,485 kg of milk has reached schools in 12 blocks of Bhilwada district. 1 lakh 40 thousand kg in Udaipur, 98,370 kg in Banswara, 51,635 kg in Karoli, and 4,651 kg in Hanumangarh. Additionally, Bikaner, Sriganganagar, Jhunjhunu, and Sikar have also been supplied with milk powder.

Vijay Kumar Verma, Chief Block Primary Education Officer told The Mooknayak that” all the schools have received the milk powder” it is upto the government to decide that from when will the children will get milk. “We have not yet received the directions for giving the mixture (milk powder with water). We will provide it to the students once we receive the directions.”

Dr. Mukta Vasishta, a gastroenterologist at the Sir Gangaram Hospital, Delhi told The Mooknayak that “there is fat missing in the powder. Vitamins A, B, E, M, K will also be missing. It would be better if we provide normal cow and buffalo milk to children. Fat is essential for children. It should be avoided for obese children. Powder milk will have fewer calories so the powder will have to be increased so that the calories are commensurate with the proper milk. It is also not advisable to give it two times a week. The children need it daily. It will not matter even if not given. So, it is better to provide “normal” milk or the “milk rate” of the powder is increased.

[Story Translated By Pratikshit Singh]

Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir has worked continuously as a reporter in Rajasthan Patrika since 2003. Presently Abdul Mahir is reporting for The Mooknayak from Rajasthan.

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