Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government is considering a proposal to introduce eggs in the midday meal menu offered to children in the state.
Women and Child Welfare Minister Imarti Devi said the inclusion of eggs in the diet would benefit children between the age group of three to six years. The proposal was mooted months after the same was implemented in government-run schools in neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
Sources said if children of anganwadi centres are fed eggs thrice a week, the government would have to shell out Rs 500 crore on the project annually. The government plans to first implement the scheme in 89 tribal-dominated blocks of the state that would require a budgetary allocation of Rs 140 crore per year.
The previous BJP government, led by Shivraj Singh Chauhan, had come up a similar plan, but following protests from certain organisations, the proposal was withdrawn.
However, leaders of the saffron party, which is now in the opposition in the state, have expressed their reservations against the move.
BJP general secretary VD Sharma said, “There are several issues that need to be clarified. First, what would happen to the children who would not eat eggs? Also, these children might feel uncomfortable when those sitting close to them in the schools are served the food item. Considering our food habits, the state government should re-consider this proposal.”
After a similar opposition was raised in Chhattisgarh, the department of education had issued a revised order in which the school managements were asked to make arrangements for protein-rich vegetarian diet for children who do not wish to eat eggs.