Importance Of Mid-Day Meal Programme

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Abstract With the twin objectives of improving health and education of the poor children, India has embarked upon an ambitious scheme of providing mid-day meals (MDM) in the government primary schools. The administrative and logistical responsibilities of this scheme are enormous, and, therefore, offering food stamps or income transfer to targeted recipients is considered as an alternative. The paper would test whether or not the main objectives of MDM scheme are achieved would also be examining the financial impact of mid-day meal policy, and how the policy is implemented along with recommendations.

The notion of mid-day meal scheme in India can be outlined back to pre-independence period as during the British government supervision
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Essentially, it was aimed to increase the school participation among the underprivileged children which would lead to their educational as well as economic development. Further, the scheme guarantees to provide each child one third of the daily nutrient requirement in the form of cooked meal to combat his/her food and nutritional deficiencies. The MDMS is the India’s second largest food security programme for the children.

Major Objective of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme
This scheme was started with two major objectives: firstly to enhance the child’s nutrition level secondly to provide the basic education. Thus the MDMS was introduced to improve the overall progress of the primary school children’s education. Therefore, it has diverse objectives like: 1. To increase the nutritional level of the school going children 2. To enhance the educational attainment of the children 3. To retain the children in the school for a long period of
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There are many glitches that are most commonly reported in various studies related to the MDM programme in different parts of the country such as :The difficulties with very poor infrastructure facilities, overt and covert forms of caste prejudices and discrimination toward lower caste children and cooks in some areas; serious health hazards including children falling sick after meals; very low allocation of funds per meal ;Repetition of the same menu every day along with poor quality of food; Inadequate payment of salaries to cooks; Limited opportunities for parental participation in the programme; The quantity and quality of food were likely to be less than the minimum stipulated by the

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