A government school here has taken it upon itself to provide the day’s breakfast to its students, most of whom hail from slums nearby

If you’re a parent, the morning fuss over your child’s breakfast might be a daily affair. Ever heard of a school doing the same?

Apparently worried over the lack of nutrition in students, the headmaster and teaching staff at a government school have begun serving them ‘raagi jaava’ (porridge made of finger millets).

The students at Government Boys’ Primary School at Mekala Mandi, Bholakpur will also get to savour a breakfast item thrice a week henceforth.

“We heard of a neighbouring school serving breakfast. I held a meeting with our teachers and discussed if we could repeat the same here. We decided to serve ‘raagi jaava’ every morning as it is high in nutritional content,” said Mallikarjuna Reddy, school headmaster.

Hungry lot

Most students of the school come from slums nearby and are too poor to afford breakfast.

Parents dash off to work, most often without feeding their children.

“Due to half-day school, children arrive very early and hungry. They would not be able to concentrate on studies. Now, after having the healthy porridge rich in calcium, fibre, and iron, they can focus better in class,” Mr. Reddy averred. The porridge is prepared by boiling finger millets with jaggery, the use of the latter for better taste. For the school’s 200 students, 50 litres of the porridge is prepared every day with the work contracted to a resident nearby.

Good Samaritans

While the teachers and the contractor chipped in with funds for the first three days, two philanthropists from the Perfect Aid Education and Health Trust later volunteered to finance the initiative. Students can now have ‘raagi jaava’ thrice a week and idli and upma as breakfast for the remainder of the school-week.

“We have requested the District Educational Officer (DEO) to consider the possibility of replicating the model in all government schools by contracting it out to Naandi Foundation, which is already serving mid-day meals,” Mr. Reddy explained.

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