Telangana: Ragi Java to be added to mid-day meals of over 16L govt school students

Hyderabad: Almost 16,82,887 government school students in Telangana will be provided with millet-based supplements like Ragi Java in their mid-day meal, in the upcoming academic year.

Ragi Java is prepared by combining jaggery with ragi. It is rich in dietary fibre and also fulfils the need of protein and minerals needs of the body to aid in the simple digestion of food.

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The supplements will be served thrice a week to primary and upper-primary students for 110 days with an outlay of Rs 2776.76 lakh

According to the Mid-Day Meal scheme project board meeting minutes, the outlay comprises a Central share of Rs 971.14 lakh and a state share of Rs 647.43 lakh while the remaining funds of Rs 1,158.19 lakh will reportedly be procured by the state government as directed by the Centre.

With the UN General Assembly adopting a resolution and declaring 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’, the board has advised the Telangana government to serve millets to students in the schools once a week.

In March, the Central government sanctioned Rs 3 crore under the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) for Telangana’s nutri cereals programme 2022-2023.

However, Rs 7.47 crore to Gujarat under NFSM and a whopping Rs 60.43 crore to Karnataka in 2022-23 were sanctioned by the centre.

For Telangana, a total of Rs 32371.44 lakh with Rs 20376.25 lakh as central share and state share Rs 11995.19 lakh was approved for the Mid-Day meal scheme for the year 2023-24.

As part of the current mid-day meal programme, kids are given rice, dal, sambar, vegetable curry, legume vegetable curry, and special rice including vegetable biryani, bagara rice, and pulihara.

An egg, thrice a week is provided to children to ensure sufficient protein supplements be included in their diet.