Chief Minister to dish out 13 varieties of rice, 4 types of egg masala under noon-meal scheme
School students in Tamil Nadu are in for a bonanza. A choice of delicacies await them in schools as part of the nutritious midday meal scheme of the State Government. If the menu of the nutritious midday meal scheme announced by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is any indication, students may think not twice but many times over before bunking school on flimsy grounds.
According to the details of midday meals to be served in State-run schools announced by Jayalalithaa, students would get 13 varieties of rice and four different types of egg masalas. The menu was decided by the ‘mother’ in the Chief Minister herself based on recommendations and suggestions made by a team of nutrition experts and eminent chefs. Jayalalithaa had asked them to come out withfood varieties that would break the monotony in the students.
Vegetable biryani, channa pilaf, tomato rice, curry leaf rice, sambar rice, mixed vegetable rice, tamarind rice and lemon rice are some of the items to be served on alternate days. The Chief Minister has zeroed in on four types of exotic egg masalas to be served with the rice varieties. “The food menu for the midday meal scheme remained monotonous for a long time. Our objective was to introduce dishes which would be liked by the children,” the Chief Minister told the State Assembly while announcing the revamped midday meal scheme.
Tamil Nadu was the first State in the country to launch the midday meal scheme for school students. “It was during MGR’s regime in 1982 that the midday meal scheme was introduced for the first time in the country,” said the Chief Minister.
While announcing the revised scheme, Jayalalithaa said the strategy was multi-pronged in nature. “We want to increase enrolments in schools, whittle down the dropout rate and improve the physical and mental health of students,” she said.
Children admitted to anganwadis too would be provided with different meal varieties. They will be served meals on all days while the school midday meal scheme is restricted to six days of the week.
The announcement brought cheer to a cross- section of students. Arun, a 13-year-old school dropout in Porur, a Chennai suburb, was seen enquiring after the authorities in the corporation school about the possibilities of getting readmitted. Daily wage earners like Tamil and Devi of Kattupakkam,hardcore DMK activists, said they were ‘simply moved’ by the Amma’s gesture. Jayalalithaa created a sensation earlier this year by distributing free laptops to Plus Two and college students in the State.