Students of about 27 schools began having their mid-day meal in the freshly-built dining halls in Indore, district panchayat chief executive officer Ashish Singh said on Friday.
The dining halls, which have been constructed in primary and middle-level government schools, are part of a pilot project. After assessing the response and shortfalls, the project will be extended to other schools across the district too, Singh said.
Mid-day meal project incharge Mukesh Verma said a dining hall had a capacity to seat 28 students at a time. He said around Rs 28,000 each was contributed by the panchayat where the school was located.
“The department is soon going to start model kitchens in rural schools to improve food quality and ensure hygiene,” Verma said, adding besides dining halls have attached wash basins too that will help students learn ways to better health and hygiene.
He said over 700 children would be benefited by the new initiative which would help them inculcate new dining habits and culture.
According to figures, there are about 670 government primary and 318 middle schools in Mhow, Sanwer and Depalpur, while 52 primary and 44 middle schools are running under nagar panchayats in Indore district.
Besides, there are about 221 primary and 124 middle schools in Indore rural areas and as many as 78,000 children up to Class 8 are studying at the government schools across the district.