‘In J&K during lock down, around 8 lakh students receive Mid-day meal benefits at their homes’
Cooking cost to be transferred directly to bank accounts of beneficiary students soon: Dr Arun Manhas
SRINAGAR: Mission Director, Mid-Day Meal Scheme Dr Arun Manhas today said that amidst the lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic, his Department has worked overtime to ensure that full benefits of midday meal scheme reach to around 8 lakh students in Jammu and Kashmir.
Giving details, Dr Arun Manhas said that it was a challenge to extend the benefits of the mid-day meal scheme to such a large number of students. “We utilised all of our resources and achieved the target in a time-bound manner. I must say everyone from top-level officials to ground level staff worked hard to make it happen. Our Principal Secretary was monitoring it on a daily basis. Our Mid-day meal in charge teachers deserve accolades for reaching out to students in crisis,” he said.
The J&K Government had earlier decided that two-month advance dry ration (Rice) would be provided to the eligible children through the Department of Food Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs (FCS&CA) and cooking cost of the Mid-Day meal scheme would be provided to the children through DBT mode.
For the successful distribution of dry ration among children, the Directorate of Mid-day Meal Scheme in collaboration with FCS&CA department distributed dry-ration among 886905 children. These included 584387 students of Primary level and 302518 of Upper Primary level from all the districts of J&K.
According to the data, in Kashmir division 15948 students were provided dry ration in Srinagar, 17805 in Ganderbal, 49379 in Budgam, 57264 in Anantnag, 27700 in Kulgam, 22792 in Pulwama, 16882 in Shopian, 46989 in Baramulla, 34539 in Bandipora and 70420 in Kupwara.
Similarly in Jammu division, the Mission Director said 43834 students were given dry ration in Jammu district, 10907 in Samba, 43011 in Kathua, 58632 in Udhampur, 44198 in Reasi, 47430 in Doda, 43542 in Ramban, 23268 in Kishtiwar, 64180 in Rajouri and 63766 in Poonch district.
He added that some of the students belonging to families of migrant workers could not be covered under the scheme as they have left the J&K during the present crisis.
Regarding the submission of bank account details of eligible students/ parents for crediting the cooking cost of Mid-Day Meals, Dr Arun Manhas said that the bank account details of students have been received from the Chief Education Officers for transferring the cooking component amount of MDS Scheme to the students via Direct Benefit Transfer mode.
“We are compiling the final data and the money will be credited into the accounts in some days,” Dr Manhas said.
It is pertinent to mention that Mid-Day meal scheme is aimed to improve the Nutritional status of the children from classes I to VIII besides encouraging poor children to attend schools regularly. According to the scheme, every child enrolled in the primary class is provided with a free supply of 100 grams of food grains per day and 150 grams are provided to every child of Upper Primary respectively.
The Scheme has also a provision to spend Rs 4.48 for cooking purposes for every child of Primary level per day and Rs 6.71 for every Upper Primary level child per day.