Around 56 per cent children covered under Mid Day Meal (MDM) scheme in government and community schools in Andhra Pradesh were malnourished, 35 per cent in the mild under nourished condition and only seven per cent of them had normal Body Mass Index (BMI), according to the fifth Joint Review Mission on MDM scheme in Andhra Pradesh.
The mission headed by K. Uma Devi, Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Home Science, ANGRAU, as mission leader and consisting of officers of State and Central governments reviewed the quality of the scheme in May-June 2013.
The mission came up with some startling revelations about the deficiencies in the scheme, low nutritional value and suggested several measures to improve the scheme.
The team conducted a detailed study of the scheme in Hyderabad and Medak districts in 2013. Using a multistage stratified random sampling to select schools, the review mission selected 990 children for the study, including 535 girls. Among them were, 609 children were from primary classes.
Low calorie intake
Attributing the widespread malnutrition to low intake of calorie and protein food, the mission suggested inclusion of high protein diet including eggs, beans and a variety of pulses.
Some of the new recipes recommended are, Peas pulav , Rice with Soya granule curry and Bisibele bath . Instead of a boiled egg, it was recommended that a vegetable curry be added to the menu.
Referring to contentious decision of some local bodies to engage NGOs through centralised kitchens, the mission strongly recommended discontinuing of centralised kitchens wherever provision had been provided for kitchen shed.
The mission also strongly came in support of inclusion of egg in the recipe.
Report favours school kitchens instead of centralised ones