The Department of Public Instruction has decided to distribute milk powder to students at anganwadis and to those studying in primary and secondary schools in the State instead of milk.
Commissioner of Public Instruction Mohammed Mohsin told The Hindu that a proposal has been submitted to the government.
“We are awaiting clearance from the Finance Department.” Mr. Mohsin said instructions have been given to all Deputy Directors of Public Instruction to be ready to implement the scheme from August 1.
The government had earlier proposed to distribute 150 ml of milk to around 60 lakh children in the State.
Mr. Mohsin said during a meeting with officials it was observed that there were chances of contamination if milk if directly supplied to schools.
Difficulty of milk unions where milk procurement was less than the demand was also discussed. From all angles distribution of milk powder was found to be safe, Mr. Mohsin said.
Status in DK
According to an officer from Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers Union (DKMUL), the government was contemplating distribution of 18 gm of milk powder to each child for three days a week.
In the district, 32,927 children in anganwadis (aged between three and six ) and 2.16 lakh studying in 1st to 10th standards are to be covered in the district.
The union has to cater to 4.67 lakh students in Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. This will work out to 5,703 kg of powder per day. The union will be arranging for 1.45 lakh kg of milk powder for 12 days. The milk powder will be procured from Hassan, Mandya and Dharwad milk unions.
“We are awaiting orders from the government. We have given cost of procurement and other details to officials,” the DKMUL officer said.
A few days ago, DKMUL chairman Raviraj Hegde had spoken about difficulty in supplying milk as the union was already facing deficit on the one hand and on the other the cost at which the State government wanted it to supply milk was not sufficient.
Against the procurement of 2.75 lakh litres per day, the present consumption here has been 3.5 lakh litres. The union has been procuring additional quantities of milk from Hassan and Tumkur Milk Unions to bridge the shortfall.