Students have their midday meal at a government school in Ranchi
The state chapter of Right to Food Campaign, a national network of professionals working towards ensuring food security, will launch an Anda Abhiyan at government schools on July 4, Friday.
Those associated with the campaign said the movement was a part of a number of agitations to press for full-fledged implementation of National Food Security Act (2013) in Jharkhand.
To start with, they are targeting around 40,000 government-run schools, which often don’t serve eggs in midday meals. Eggs are supposed to be part of the Friday lunch.
“An egg is almost a full meal for a child. But, eggs on Fridays are served only on paper in most districts of Jharkhand. Therefore, we have decided to launch our campaign on Friday (July 4) to highlight the cause of schoolchildren’s nutrition,” said Ankita Aggarwal, a member of the outfit.
She added the egg drive would be launched in all districts simultaneously, choosing a couple of schools from each. In Ranchi, the campaign is slated to begin from a government school at Hatma Basti, Kanke.
The campaign will be stepped up in a phased manner.
Balram, Jharkhand’s advisor to the Supreme Court-appointed commissioners for right to food, who will also take part in the egg drive, called for a massive movement.
“More funds should be allocated under midday meal scheme to give nutritious items such as eggs and fruits to schoolchildren regularly,” he said.
“Jharkhand is apparently doing its best to miss the deadline for implementation of the National Food Security Act (July 4 initially, now extended for three more months). Under the Act, a nutritious meal is the right of every child at the school or anganwadi centres daily. It also has provisions of Rs 6,000 for every pregnant woman. Further, 86 per cent households in rural Jharkhand are to be covered under the public distribution system,” he said.
“I hope the Anda Abhiyan mobilises masses and draws the government’s attention,” he added.