The Zilla Panchayat is contemplating providing flavoured milk to schoolchildren under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme.
The zilla panchayat is planning to write a letter to the State government explaining the need to distribute flavoured milk in schools and request the government to approve it under Ksheera Bhagya and study whether flavoured milk could be given to children across the state under the said scheme. Central Food technological Research Institute (CFTRI), at the behest of the ZP, had produced three different flavours of milk powder, including vanilla and badam, ZP president Pushpavathi Amarnath told The Hindu.
Ms. Amarnath said that the ZP was contemplating this move due to various reasons. Several students were avoiding milk consumption due to the foul smell and high water content in milk. Also, a large number of children, with whom she interacted during her recent village visits, wanted the government to provide milk obtained from cattle instead of milk powder, as it gave a foul smell. Also, the parents had complained that the milk given to their children was low in fat and vitamins.
Meanwhile, an official source said that the government has to incur an additional cost of at least eight to 10 paise per child per day, if the scheme is implemented. Besides this, KMF has to give its consent to add flavours to milk powder, the source added. “Whether the government is ready to incur this additional burden is another factor to be considered,” the source said. Flavoured milk would be given to officials and a few ZP members either on Monday or Tuesday before distributing it in schools on a trial basis, sources said. If the flavoured milk scheme is widely accepted by the children, then steps will be taken to implement it in all the schools in the district, sources said.