The government of Chhatisgarh has proposed for the inclusion of eggs in the Midday Meal Scheme to fight malnourishment among the children is facing resistance from social organizations and the opposition BJP.
The most intense opponents of the idea were the followers of Kabir Panth in the state.
Daya Shankar of Kabir Ashram in Damakhed said, “This is a move to promote non-vegetarian food. There are other vegetarian options to fight the problem of malnourishment. In schools, which are the temples of education, no non-vegetarian food should be allowed and we will campaign against it.”
A four-member committee was sent to negotiate with them which included state Home Minister Tamradhwaj Sahu, Child and Women Welfare Minister Anila Bhediya, Urban Administration Minister Shiv Kumar Dahariya and Education Minister Premsai Singh Tekam.
Tekam said, “In the whole state, child malnutrition is estimated at about 40 percent. For their well being, we have decided to give them nutrition-rich food. Some organizations including Kabir Panth have sought that egg should not be included in the scheme. We will speak to the Chief Minister (Bhupesh Baghel) and then will take a decision.”
Former CM of the state, Raman Singh said, “People have their religious beliefs and their feelings are being hurt. The proposal must be reconsidered. Milk also has protein and it can be given to students. There are many other options as well”.