Pune: The State government has decided to include packets of skimmed milk or milk powder as a health supplement under the mid-day meal scheme given to the primary students from Std I to VII owing to the excess production of milk in the State.
The programme will be run on a pilot basis for three months. Also, the State government has clearly stated that the milk powder distributed to the students has to be produced strictly in Maharashtra.
The GR issued for the same by the School Education and Sports Department, Maharashtra government, stated that the students eligible under the mid-day meal scheme will be provided with three packets of 200 grams each for a period of three months. The schools have been instructed to mark a day as ‘Milk Powder Distribution Day’ and distribute the packets among the students.
The programme is an outcome of the proposal made by the government in the Legislative Assembly on July 10, 2018, to find a solution to the excess production of milk and skimmed milk/powder in the State. After a meeting under the presidency of school education minister last month, a decision was made to run the programme on the basis of ‘Ksheer Bhagya Yojana’ in Karnataka.
“The Ksheer Bhagya Yojana was quite a success in Karnataka, which has inspired our programme. Though it’s not the same as that programme, this too has been designed on similar lines, with a similar objective.
The idea behind this is to give a healthy supplement to the primary students in addition to the meals that are already provided to them. Also, it will help the milk and milk powder producers in the State to make some profit. If the pilot project proves to be successful, the programme will be continued,” said Vishal Solanki, State Education Commissioner, who is a part of the committee that has been formed to monitor the implementation of the milk powder distribution.
While the committee will be presided over by Additional Chief Secretary, School Education Department, the Education Director (Primary), Pune, will be the coordinating officer for the project.