Milk under Akshara Dasoha to benefit 2.6 lakh children

As the State Government is gearing up to introduce milk to schoolchildren under Akshara Dasoha from July 1, nearly 2.6lakh children studying in government and aided schools in the district would be availing themselves of the benefit.

Though the modalities of supplying milk was being finalised, the respective milk unions of Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), which has taken the responsibility of the new initiative across the State, was in the process of collecting data regarding the number of children being covered under the scheme.

A total of 2,63,570 children are being covered under Akshara Dasoha in the district. The number is likely to go up as admissions for 2013–14 were still under way at some places. The number of children covered under the scheme was more in government schools. A total of 2,19,103 children are from government schools and 44,467 from aided schools, according to sources in the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).

ISKCON and a math from Ravandoor in Periyapatna taluk supply midday meals to 78 and 13 schools, respectively.

According to the sources, the authorities were still finalising the modalities of supplying milk. “May be in another week, a clear picture of the initiative would be available.”

However, information available so far states that milk would be supplied once in three days. In the first three months, milk would be supplied and later on it would be supplied in the form of flavoured milk packs. “There was no clarity regarding the form of package but talks were on at the department and the KMF,” the sources said.

Tentatively, it had been proposed to provide hot milk to schoolchildren around 10 a.m., a few hours before lunch was served, the sources said.

On behalf of the NGOs that supply food, the beneficiary schools may be given the responsibility of providing milk to children as the representatives of the NGOs would have to come to schools twice — first to supply milk and then to serve food.

When contacted, managing director of Mysore Milk Union Suresh Babu told The Hindu that milk supply to schools was being discussed at the KMF and the modalities would be finalised soon. “At places where there were no milk producer unions, it had been proposed to supply skimmed milk powder instead of liquid milk. Milk would be supplied to schools in villages and towns where there were nearest milk producers’ unions,” he said.

A total of 2,63,570 children are being covered under the scheme in the district

While 2,19,103 children are from government schools, 44,467 are from aided schools

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