Over 1 crore students of basic and primary government schools across Uttar Pradesh will enjoy mid-day meals (MDM) in stainless steel plates and glasses from Dhanteras on Friday.
Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav will present the new utensils to the students of a government school in Mohanlalganj area of state capital Lucknow.
Initially, the utensils will be distributed in a few blocks but gradually all government schools will be covered in a phased manner and will get the new plates and glasses by December end.
“Till now, the children were required to bring their own utensils from home but the practice will now be a thing of the past,” MDM director Hemant Kumar said.
“At times, children forget to bring glasses and they are served milk or ‘kheer’ in a plate causing inconvenience to them. Once they get new utensils, having meals will be easier for them,” he added.
Director (basic education) Dinesh Babu Sharma said all arrangements have been made for smooth distribution of the utensils.
Experts say the initiative will attract new students and further help in checking dropout rates.
The MDM is a centrally sponsored scheme to boost the universalisation of primary education by increasing enrolment, retention and attendance in primary and upper primary classes.
According to guidelines, cooked meals are to be provided with 450 and 700 calories and 12gm and 20gm protein contents for primary and upper primary school children respectively.