Rs 2350 Lakhs Plan approved for Mid-Day Meal in Ladakh Narula chaired meeting of Steering cum monitoring committee of Ladakh
Leh, May 28: Advisor Ladakh, Umang Narula who is also the Chairman of ‘UT level Steering Cum Monitoring Committee (SLMC) chaired a meeting of the Committee for reviewing the implementation of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in UT Ladakh and also to discuss and consider the Annual Plan for 2021-22 under Mid-Day Meal Scheme to be placed before the Project Approval Board (PAB) of Ministry of Education GOI.
The meeting was coordinated by Ajeet Kumar Sahu, Commissioner Secretary School Education Department who is also the Member Secretary of the Committee. The meeting was attended by Dr Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary Health, Saugat Bishwas, Secretary CAPD, Padma Angmo, Secretary Social Welfare, Santosh Sukhdeve, DC Kargil, Mumtaz Ali, Director Social Welfare, Ladakh besides other members of UT level Steering –Cum Monitoring Committee (SLMC).
Mid-Day Meal Scheme is aimed at improving the nutritional status of the children from class 1st to 8th studying in the Government schools besides encouraging the underprivileged children to attend the schools on regular basis. It was launched to give a boost to the Universalization of Primary Education by increasing enrolment, retention and attendance.
At the outset, Safdar Ali, Director of School Education made a detailed presentation on the physical and financial achievement of the scheme during FY 2020-21 and placed before the committee the current year’s plan for consideration of the members.
The meeting was informed that given the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of schools during FY 2020-2, dry food grains were distributed among the eligible students and the cooking cost was credited in their bank accounts in place of providing a cooked meal in schools under the scheme. Accordingly, the School Education Department Ladakh with the help of the Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department has distributed 414 MT of dry ration to 16319 eligible students in 817 schools covered under this scheme in UT of Ladakh. A total of Rs 320 lakhs were spent under the scheme during last FY on procurement of ration and meeting other recurring costs. It was informed that construction work of Kitchen cum Stores could not be taken up last year due to the Covid pandemic and also due to the non-release of required funds.
Narula directed the School Education Department to project the requirement for distribution of fortified food grain under the scheme to ensure nutritional security of the children to address anaemia and micro-nutrient deficiency in them. Advisor Narula directed the Secretary CAPD to follow up the case of fortified food grain with the concerned quarter.
Narula also asked the department to examine the feasibility of providing a solar-based induction cooker for cooking meals in the schools to discourage fossil fuels and promote carbon neutrality. He asked the Director of School Education to take up at least 200 schools this year on a pilot basis to provide solar-based cooker.
He further directed that the Panchayats and community should be actively involved in the monitoring of the implementation of the mid-day meal scheme and asked the Secretary Rural development to add this in the agenda point while meeting with the PRI representatives.
He also asked the School Education Department to get the impact evaluation of the scheme done through an expert agency. It was informed that the Social Welfare Department has already finalised arrangements with the Indian Institute of Population Sciences for Impact Analysis of the ICDS scheme and MDM is also a part of the whole analysis.
After detailed deliberation the UT level Steering Cum Monitoring Committee approved the Annual Plan for 2021-22 under Mid-Day Meal Scheme for Rs 2350 lakhs covering 16248 students of 814 schools for submission to GoI.