In a setback to the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme, a flagship initiative launched late last year by the previous government, breakfast services have been abruptly halted in several government schools across the district. The mid-day meals agencies, which were authorized to serve breakfast to students, have reportedly ceased operations, citing financial burdens as the primary reason for the abrupt stoppage.
The ambitious Breakfast Scheme was introduced by the previous government on October 7, with the primary goal of providing nutritious morning meals to students in government schools from Class I to X. The initiative aimed not only to enhance the nutritional intake of students but also to alleviate the burden on working mothers, fostering a conducive environment for learning.
Initially implemented in select schools, the breakfast program featured a diverse menu, including items such as idli sambar, wheat rava, upma chutney, puri, aaloo khorma, tomato bath, khichdi, and Pongal. With an initial reach of 23 lakh students across 67,147 government schools in the State, there were plans to expand the program to include all schools in subsequent phases.
However, the once-successful initiative has hit a roadblock as mid-day meals agencies, responsible for preparing and serving food for both the mid-day meals program and the breakfast scheme, have stopped the latter due to a lack of payment. Sources indicate that these agencies have faced financial strains in recent months, with bills going unpaid for an extended period.
Burra Manjula, the district president of the Mid-Day Meals Workers Association, expressed the association’s predicament, stating that the financial burden had become unbearable. She revealed that breakfast services were ceased from December 19, as the agencies struggled to meet their financial obligations. The pending bills, lingering for the last five months, have left them with severe hardships, making it challenging to provide even regular meals to students.
Musku Thirupathi Reddy, the district president of the Progressive Recognized Teachers’ Union (PRTU), echoed these concerns, highlighting that breakfast was no longer being served in nearly all schools. While acknowledging the benefits of the program to students, he questioned how it could continue without adequate funds.
As the Breakfast Scheme faces these challenges, stakeholders, including education officials, are under pressure to find a resolution that ensures the continuation of the initiative’s noble objectives, balancing the needs of students with the financial constraints faced by the mid-day meals agencies.
Powered by Yes Mom Hosting