Uttarakhand govt to give food safety allowance to over 6 lakh students not getting mid-day meals amid lockdown
With schools being closed and students not getting mid-day meals, Uttarakhand government has now decided to give food safety allowance and 150 grams of rice to students.
Mukul Sati, additional state project director for Samagra Sikhsha Abhiyan in the state said that all schools have been asked to give daily food safety allowance and rice to guardians of students.
“As students are not getting mid-day meals during the lockdown, we asked all district education officers to ensure that guardians of students are given per student cooking cost as food safety allowance and up to 150 grams of rice,” said Sati.
There are over six lakh children who get mid-day meals in the state, which include students from the primary section and middle section. The per student cooking cost amounts to around Rs 4 for primary section and Rs 7 for middle school. Along with this, students from the primary section are given 100 grams of rice and 150 grams of rice for middle school.
Sati added that students are being given the food safety allowance starting from March 13 till the lockdown ends.
“We are constantly monitoring whether students are getting the allowance and the ration. We have received reports that allowance for the month of March has been given in districts like Pithoragarh, Bageshwar and Chamoli,” said Sati.
Earlier in March, the Uttarakhand government had decided to use schools as shelters for all those who are stranded in the state. They are being given food under the midday meal scheme as cooks, ration and other facilities are already available. Uttarakhand has a total of 16,735 schools, including primary, upper primary, high school and intermediate.
Arvind Pandey, minister for school education in the state had directed the school education secretary to ensure that government schools in the state are turned into shelter homes for the stranded migrants wherever there is a need.
“In view of the crisis caused due to the coronavirus epidemic, the midday meal scheme of the state which is already run by the education department will be used for providing food and water to daily wage labourers, helpless and poor in any given area,” said the minister, after a review meeting with officials from the districts.