Thiruvananthapuram

Midday meal not banned during Ramzan

In the heated debates surrounding the temporary meat ban in a few States recently, a claim being spread widely online and in the national media is on the ‘Kerala government’s midday meal ban in schools during Ramzan.’

But documents available with The Hindu prove that such a ban never came into force in the State. On the contrary, the Education Department did take extra measures to ensure that midday meal was not disrupted during Ramzan in Muslim-majority areas in Malappuram district.

In a directive dated June 9, 2015, addressed to all government schools in the district, the noon-feeding supervisor of the office of the Deputy Director of Education (DDE) in Malappuram said steps should be taken to ensure that midday meal was served to students who were not fasting.

The assistant educational officers were asked to get the total number of students who were part of the midday meal scheme and those who need it during Ramzan.

“A register is maintained in all schools, with detailed lists of timings, menu, and the food consumed by each child. The letter was sent as the timing of schools here are changed during the month and classes end early at 2 p.m. So, we are ensuring that the children are fed before they leave the school,” says Safarullah, DDE of Malappuram.

Reports of midday meal not being served first appeared in a language daily affiliated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) two years ago. CPI(M) MP M.B. Rajesh said the Sangh Parivar had targeted him using these claims recently.

‘False claim’

“When we organised a ‘beef fest’ in protest against the beef ban, BJP-RSS supporters had targeted me online asking whether I would organise a midday meal fest against this ban. Following this, I enquired in schools across Malappuram and found this to be a blatant lie. They stopped the campaign when I posted the proof online. Now, they are back in English news channels and in social media, spreading the same lie, to defend the meat ban,” Mr. Rajesh said.


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Printable version | May 15, 2022 11:14:22 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/midday-meal-not-banned-during-ramzan/article7647524.ece