The midday meal programme in government and aided schools is likely to be affected in some parts of the State from Monday as midday meal workers are set to launch an indefinite agitation demanding an increase in honorarium.

The workers have been demanding a hike in honorarium since 2009. Cooks and head cooks under the programme are paid Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 1,100, respectively, every month. They get an additional Rs. 100 every month for providing milk to schoolchildren thrice a week under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme.

As many as 1.04 lakh midday meal workers prepare food for 61.4 lakh children in 55,113 schools in the State.

S. Varalakshmi, State president of the Karnataka Rajya Akshara Dasoha Naukarara Sangha, under whose banner the workers will protest at Freedom Park in Bangalore, said, “In spite of submitting several memorandums, successive governments have not addressed over problems. Our main demand is to ensure minimum salary of Rs. 3,000 for midday meal workers.”

Officials in the Department of Public Instruction said teachers had been directed to inform parents in advance if the midday meal programme would be affected in their school.

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