Seers oppose move to serve eggs in anganwadi centres

‘CM’s announcement will create divide in society’

March 21, 2017 10:18 pm | Updated 10:18 pm IST - HUBBALLI

The State government’s budget announcement of serving eggs to anganwadi children across the State is being opposed by a federation of various organisations.

President of Vishwa Prani Daya Mandali and Basava Dharma Jnana Peetha Sri Dayanand Swami — who earlier led a similar campaign on distribution of eggs as part of midday meal scheme — said here on Tuesday that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s announcement would “create a divide in society.”

However, activists working in the area of malnutrition say eggs are an important supplement. Y. Mariswamy, member of Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, said that those opposing the move were doing it “only for political gains”. He said: “Egg as a supplement will help tackle malnutrition. Children who do not eat eggs will not be forced to have them. So the opposition makes no sense.”

However, while addressing presspersons, Dayanand Swami said instead of raking up the issue of egg distribution, Mr. Siddaramaiah should have focused on giving vegetarian nutritional supplements that could be distributed commonly to all children.

He said that while giving milk was a welcome move, giving egg would be a “divisive measure” as the anganwadi assistants would have to “distinguish between vegetarian and non-vegetarian children.” He said egg was barred from the food list of Lingayats, Jains, Brahmins, and Arya Vaishya communities.

It might be recalled that although there was a move to provide eggs to children under the midday meal scheme in 2015, the Congress government decided not to introduce it in the wake of opposition from vegetarian communities, particularly Lingayats. Earlier in 2007, under the JD(S)-BJP coalition government, the scheme to provide eggs to children was dropped after vehement protests by seers of various mutts.

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