Kurkure in midday meals?

Will a spicy snack to keep children from dropping out of schools?

It was with absolute shock and disgust that I read a news piece about the government’s decision to introduce Kurkure in the midday meals offered at anganwadis in the State.

The "justification" offered is that children these days are addicted to this spicy snack so this would be an incentive for them to attend the anganwadi.

Have we forgotten why the Midday Meal was introduced less than a decade ago? Was it not meant to address child malnutrition, protect children from classroom hunger, and increase school enrolment and retention? 

Am I mistaken about the Supreme Court directive (2001) that made it mandatory for the state governments to provide cooked meals instead of ‘dry rations’.

If the midday meal is not bringing children to the anganwadis- is Kurkure the best solution we can come up with? Really?

  • Who did the Department consult before coming up with this ‘solution’? Nutritionists? Parents of the children who study in these anganwadis?
  • I am no food expert but since when has junk food helped to address malnutrition and hunger and overall development of children?
  • If you really do want to offer these children a tasty snack – why Kurkure?

Besides  has the department even given a thought to the large volumes of non-recyclable metallised plastic that is going to be generated from this initiative?

C C Patil, Minister Department of Women and Child Development claims he is not in favour of the initiative – then why is it even being suggested?

Do we not even care about the development of children who attend these centres – only because they belong to socially and economically disadvantaged communities?

The media would do well to take some action on this and make sure the plan is not implemented.

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