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Jharkhand govt decision to reduce eggs in midday meal to children "shocking"

By Our Representative
The Right to Food (RtF), Jharkhand, has said, it is “shocking” that the Jharkhand government has decided to reduce the number of weekly eggs in school midday meals from three to two. Earlier, the government allotted Rs 4 per egg. With increase in price of eggs, it has revised the allotment to Rs 6 per egg.
“But instead of increasing the total budget commensurately with the inflation in cost of eggs, the government has decided to serve one less egg per child per week”, RtF said, adding, “Introduction of eggs in schools, and later in Anganwadis, is one of the few noteworthy steps taken by Jharkhand Government to improve child nutrition in the state.”
Jharkhand’s children are amongst the most malnourished in the country. According to the National Family Health Survey 4 conducted in 2015-16, 35.8 per cent children were underweight across the country. In Jharkhand, the corresponding ratio was as high as 47.8 per cent.
Currently, eggs are served across 12 states of the country. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu serve as many as five eggs per week.
RtF further said, the centralised contract to Kisan Poultry Farms (KPF), which “is a very shady entity”, and happens to be “a shell company of Christy Friedgram Industry, which is being investigated for large-scale fraud in similar ICDS-related contracts in Tamil Nadu”, has created problems in the supply of eggs in Jharkhand.
RtF said, “Many eggs are rotten, delivery is not regular, and eggs are not delivered at the doorsteps of Anganwadis, instead Anganwadi workers have to collect the eggs from a distance.”

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