Taking note of the rise in the number of children who are malnourished and anaemic in north Karnataka, the Department of Public Instruction has decided to provide eggs to students in government and aided schools in seven districts from December.
This has been a long-pending demand among many organisations and stakeholders for several years now. Eggs will be provided to students in Bidar, Raichur, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Koppal, Ballari,and Vijayapura. Students who do not consume eggs will be given bananas along with their noon meals. As many as 14.44 lakh students from classes one to eight are likely to benefit from this move.
Eggs or bananas will have to be supplied to students 12 times a month and school managements are allowed to decide on which days they will provide eggs. Students are likely to be given eggs thrice a week. Schools will be given ₹6 per child 12 times a month.
This initiative will continue till March. School managements have been asked to monitor and file reports on the health indicators among each student.
Welcoming the move, Veena Shatrugna, former Deputy Director of National Institute of Nutrition, said it was a good beginning, but added that going forward the government should extend it to all children in the State as eggs were essential proteins for children’s growth.
However, many public health experts have said that providing eggs merely thrice a week may not help in reducing malnutrition. “Malnourished children need to get protein at least five to six times a week so that there is some improvement in their health,” said a doctor working in a government hospital in the city.