Chhattisgarh govt to make separate arrangement, serve eggs at kids’ homes after row
The Congress-led government in Chhattisgarh has said ‘separate arrangements’ for boiling eggs will be made for children, who want to eat them during mid-day meals at schools, after its decision triggered a row in the state.
The government also said on Tuesday evening said that if parents do not agree upon on the issue of serving eggs in a particular school, they should be served to the children at their homes.
“The students who are not willing to consume eggs should be identified by the authorities and separate sitting arrangements should be made for them,” the state government said in a press note.
The controversy erupted when a group of Kabir Panthis, the followers of 15th-century poet and saint Kabir, wrote to the district collector of Kawardha on July 12 and demanded that eggs should be banned for mid-day meal because it was against their customs.
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also joined the protest on July 15 and claimed that the move will force “vegetarian” children to eat eggs.
Chhattisgarh’s school education department wrote to all district collectors and asked them to call the meetings of Shala Vikas Samiti, which consists of parents of the students apart from public representatives, and the decision should be made as soon as possible.
The government also instructed that the school where there is a consensus on serving eggs, special arrangements should be made for vegetarian students and they should be given soya milk, protein crunch, fortified biscuits, fortified soya badis, and cooked fortified pulses as an alternative.
The previous BJP government had removed eggs from the menu of mid-day meals in 2015, saying it hurts the religious sentiments of the people.
In January this year, the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government re-introduced eggs in the mid-day meals for students in government schools and bananas for those who are vegetarian to improve their health.