8.28 lakh students get dry MDM in J&K amid COVID19 lockdown

J&K School Education Department has distributed dry Mid Day Meals (MDM) among more than eight lakh students following closure of schools owing to COVID19 lockdown.

An official said the department covered around 5.43 lakh students in primary schools and 2.85 lakh students in middle schools in more than two month after the lockdown was imposed in J&K. He said the dry ration was distributed at the doorsteps of the students.

The students were covered in two phases from April while as third phase of MDM distribution would be started soon, the official said.

“Rs 14.47 core @ Rs 4.97 per day per child was transferred in the account of primary school students or their parents through direct bank transfer,” an official document reads, adding Rs 7.45 was given to students of Upper Primary level for one month.

“The funds were released by Mission Directorate Mid Day Meal, J&K and placed at the disposal of Chief Education Officers (CEOs) to be credited to the bank accounts of eligible children,” the official said.

The department has been mentioned in the report of World Food Programme (WFP) for distribution of dry ration (rice) and Direct Bank Transfer (DBT) of cooking cost under Mid-Day Meal among eligible students of government schools.

The WFP is a national-level report prepared to track the response of all states and Union territories for providing meals to students amid COVID pandemic.

The department started distribution of dry MDM ration from April 1 following the Supreme Court directions to all states and UTs.

The decision was taken in wake of the MHRD guidelines to all state and UTs to provide mid-day meals in schools or dry rations in lieu of cooked meals or a food security allowance in lieu of mid-day meals to school children. The MHRD had directed all states that the cost of food grains and cooking cost should be transferred to the beneficiary accounts.

The MDM is a flagship programme wherein cooked meals are provided to students from class 1st to class 8. The scheme aims at enhancing enrollment, retention, and attendance of students in all government schools besides improving nutritional levels of students as well.