The Madhya Pradesh government led by Kamal Nath plans to include eggs in mid-day meals given at government schools. They have asked Akshaya Patra Foundation to deliver the same. The MP government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the foundation to supply mid-day meals to the schools in Bhopal and Mandideep area.
However, the foundation – an independently-run ISCKON initiative, strictly adheres to a vegetarian diet and does not supply eggs. Hence, it raises questions that the state govt had asked them to provide eggs.
A similar situation occurred in Chhattisgarh, where the state government asked the Akshay Patra Foundation to supply eggs in mid-day meals given in government schools. But the later rejected and threatened to back out of the agreement.
The state women and child welfare minister Imarti Devi said that the scheme of supplying eggs will initially take off in 89 tribal blocks. It will further cost an additional Rs 500 crore. She also added that the step is being taken to control malnutrition as it is a very good source of protein. She also said that “those who don’t eat it will not be forced to eat.”
A source in Akshay Patra Foundation confirming the MoU with the Madhya Pradesh government and said, “We simply do not supply eggs and the government knows this.” Thereby, it is not really clear how the MP government plans to include eggs in mid-day meals if the meal provider is strictly-vegetarian.
The previous Shivraj Singh Chouhan-led govt had removed eggs from mid-day meals in 2015 after protests by certain organisations.
Meanwhile, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state threatened to oppose the move of supplying eggs in the mid-day meal given at schools stating it hurts religious sentiments. A BJP leader from Madhya Pradesh, Gopal Bhargava, slammed the government’s proposal to serve eggs in mid-day meals. He said it is against Indian culture and if kids start eating eggs so early in their life, they could turn cannibals after growing up.
Source: India TodayPosted in News, States