Divisive Move, Says Chhattisgarh BJP as Govt Decides to Deliver Eggs to Non-vegetarian Children’s Homes
Raipur: Even after the Chhattisgarh government proposed to deliver eggs to the homes of non-vegetarian students under the mid-day meal scheme, the BJP is still not happy.
Terming the move as ‘divisive’, the BJP spokesperson Sachinanand Upasane said such a system should be avoided as schools are for uniformity. He questioned the government for providing students with eggs despite the ‘availability of numerous sources of protein’.
“There is definitely some vested interest behind the scheme,” Upasane said.
The state government’s decision to include eggs in the midday meals at schools had kicked up a controversy with the opponents saying such a move would force vegetarian students to consume eggs.
The BJP had backed the opposition calls from several communities, including the Kabirpanthis.
Kabirpanthis is a strong community in Chhattisgarh and staged a protest in Kawardha district on July 12. They handed a memorandum to district collector urging him to drop the plan to offer eggs in mid-day meal saying it was against their ‘customs’.
The BJP latched on the issue opposing the entry of eggs into the mid-day meal menu alleging the state government was forcing kids to eat non-vegetarian food.
Meanwhile, the Department of School Education on Wednesday told the District Collectors that a meeting of Shaala Vikas Samiti and parents should be organised within two weeks to identify the children who don’t wish to eat eggs.
The order said a separate arrangement should be ensured to boil the eggs in the school and children identified in accordance with the menu should be served food separately.
The department also specified that vegetarian children of the schools should be offered protein-rich diet including soy milk, flavouered milk, fortified biscuits, groundnut chikki, pulses and others.
“If the parents don’t agree for inclusion of eggs in mid-day meal, the supplement food should be delivered at the doorsteps of the kids,” the order said.
Social activist Uchit Sharma said the controversy around eggs a needless. “A state where 84% population is non-vegetarian and 38% children are malnourished, this politicisation of eggs into mid-day meal is nonsense,” said Sharma adding the state should be more worried about malnourishment rather than fighting on eggs.