Adamya Chetana chairman argues against eggs in midday meal for schoolchildren

She says it is ‘exclusionary to many students who are vegetarians’

Published - August 02, 2022 10:34 pm IST - Bengaluru

Eggs and bananas being served at a school in Kalaburagi.

Eggs and bananas being served at a school in Kalaburagi. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Within a week of the Karnataka government beginning to provide eggs to school children in midday meals, Tejaswini Ananthkumar, chairperson of Adamya Chetana, a voluntary organization which supplies midday meals to many schools, has argued against providing eggs.

“Why has our Karnataka government decided to give eggs in midday meal? These are not the only source of nutrition. It is also exclusionary to many students who are vegetarians. Our policies are to be designed such that every student has equal opportunity,” she tweeted on Monday.

The State government decided to provide eggs/groundnut chikki/bananas in mid-day meals on July 19 and started providing them from July last week. However, the scheme is yet to take off in schools that are served meals by Adamya Chetana and Akshaya Patra of ISKCON, two major providers of noon meals to schoolchildren across the State.

Two organisations

Adamya Chetana is serving midday meals to 1,50,000 schoolchildren everyday in Bengaluru, Hubballi and Kalaburagi districts. ISKCON is serving mid meals to 3,056 schools and 3,98,761 students across the State.

Ms. Ananthkumar’s tweet sparked outrage and several nutritionists and activists joined issue with her, following which she told The Hindu that Adamya Chetana had already started distributing eggs in schools it has been serving midday meals in Kalaburagi and will do so in Bengaluru and Hubballi as well from next week. However, Akshaya Patra, ISKCON, did not comment on the issue.

Ms. Ananthkumar said said she only expressed her personal opinion on Twitter, and also posted a clarification saying she was not against eggs.


She said in her clarification, “In our unequal society there are only a few places where a child is treated equally. School is one such place. That is why you have uniforms so that a child’s social identity does not affect their education. However, if the government wants to provide eggs, they should be given as a take-home ration along with other foods and fruits or chikkis equivalent for non-egg eaters. We are committed to providing nutritious meals to children through government’s midday meals scheme in accordance with rules designed for the health and wellness of children. However, we need to discuss with nutrition experts, educationists and social science scientists and find a solution.”

SDMCs to take charge?

Vishal. R., Commissioner, Department of Public Instruction, said that he had discussed the modalities of providing eggs in midday meals with Adamya Chetana and Akshaya Patra. He said they “had some principles and were not ready to distribute eggs in midday meals.”

He said he was mulling handing over the charge of distributing eggs to the School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) in such cases. “SDMCs will purchase the eggs, banana and chikki. If the schools have kitchens, then can boil and serve the eggs. Otherwise it can be outsourced. I will discuss and take approval from the Minister before it is executed,” he said.

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