Chief Minister, MK Stalin, launched the breakfast scheme for government school students in classes 1 to 5 as he sat down and had food with the children of Adhimoolam Corporation Primary School on September 15 in Madurai. The free breakfast scheme aims to help less privileged school students.
Many other countries are launching similar projects to fulfill the nutrients requirement of children and to make the process of learning more efficient.
During the inauguration of the program, the CM said that the free breakfast scheme will aid the less-privileged students and will help to improve the attendance of the students.
Budget allocation of the free breakfast scheme
Rupees 33.56 crores will be allocated for the implementation of the free breakfast scheme which will run in government and government-run schools on the first five working days of the week.
The scheme that aims to benefit over 1 lakh students will be first implemented in around 1500 schools and expenditure on one child per day would cost Rs12.75 as mentioned by the CM.
The Chief Minister of Tamilnadu said that the government must feed the children and that the students cannot study effectively on empty stomachs.
The history of the free meals provided in government schools
Chief minister K. Kamaraj pioneered the scheme of at least one free meal for students in government schools in Tamilnadu for the very first time in 1962. The chief minister encountered some children herding sheep and he asked them their reason for not attending school one of the children asked that if he goes to school will they feed him he cannot learn if he doesn’t have food. This struck a chord and the chief minister got inspired to make provision of at least one free meal for students in Government schools. Gujarat was the second state to introduce the scheme.
In 2001, the Supreme Court mandated the provision of one free meal for students in all government and government-funded schools in all the states of India.
The scheme has undergone many changes since then, it was renamed POSHAN Pradhan Mantri Bhushan Shakti Nirman in 2021.
The Central and State governments together finance the Midday Meal Scheme. The Central provided for 60% of the finances and the rest 40% is funded by the state governments.
Rs.901.55 billion has been allocated to MDM in the recent five-year plan. The scheme is one of its kind in the world.
While interacting with the students in a government school in Madurai, Stalin said that the students don’t need to worry about anything other than their studies. He ensured that the students should study as much as possible and everything else will be taken care of. The free breakfast scheme was announced by the CM on May 7, 2022, as he rolled out his five major plans. The free breakfast scheme will make a huge difference in the life of unprivileged children who are undernourished and cannot afford three meals a day. Malnourishment is a significant problem in India and the scheme will be helpful to eradicate it to some point. Furthermore, it’ll encourage the students to regularly go to school and increase their attendance significantly. It is the responsibility of the government to protect the basic rights of the children and ensure that the children of the country get proper education, food, and healthcare.