Ksheera Bhaghya scheme could not be implemented in 149 government and aided schools in Mangalore taluk from August 1 as the Akshaya Patra Foundation expressed difficulty in supplying milk

Even a month after the introduction of the Ksheera Bhaghya scheme, children in government and aided schools in the city and surrounding areas are yet to get their first glass of milk. They are supposed to get milk three times a week.

Although schools have started receiving milk powder, they are yet to get kitchen infrastructure to prepare the milk. The scheme could not be implemented in 149 government and aided schools in Mangalore taluk from August 1 as the Akshaya Patra Foundation expressed difficulty in supplying milk that works out to around 3,000 litres a day. The State government had asked the foundation and other NGOs providing midday meal to supply milk too. But the foundation sought time to consider the proposal.

Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Tulasi Maddineni then called a meeting of the headmasters of the schools, representatives of Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers Union (DKMUL) and the foundation. Directions were issued to school administrators to arrange utensils, domestic gas cylinders and hire two helpers by paying a salary of Rs. 1,000 each. A few days ago, the State government asked the foundation and other NGOs involved in the midday meals scheme to transport milk powder to schools. Following this announcement, DKMUL provided the foundation with 5750 kg of milk powder that would meet the requirement up until October first week. Distribution of milk powder started on August 31.

Headmaster of a Secondary School in Katipalla said no instructions were given about the way in which they have to get domestic gas cylinder. “We have been given 20 kg of milk powder. We are awaiting instructions about the way we should proceed,” the headmaster said. The headmaster of a government primary school in Nantoor said officials have promised to provide gas cylinders in 10 days. They have appointed two helpers and have purchased necessary utensils, he said. Midday meals scheme District Coordinator K.L. Manjula said gas agencies have been asked to provide cylinders within a week.

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