Healthy or Not, No Eggs in Midday Meals in MP
No eggs for anganwadi children in MP. Is it an all out vegetarian assault? (Photo: PTI)
No eggs for anganwadi children in MP. Is it an all out vegetarian assault? (Photo: PTI)

Healthy or Not, No Eggs in Midday Meals in MP

“Eating Eggs Kills Sensitivity”!

According to an Indian Express report, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, a pure vegetarian won’t allow anganwadi kids to have eggs as a part of their midday meal programme. As an alternative, the CM has suggested milk and bananas but no form of egg curry or boiled eggs will be allowed in tribal areas of Alirajpur, Mandla and Hoshangabad districts for meals as long as he is the Chief Minister.

Eggs are a rich source of protein and micronutrients, cost effective, easy to cook with no chances of adulteration.

Given that HALF of the children in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished and ONE-FOURTH severely malnourished, this all out ridiculous vegetarian assault is not something the State needs.

Contrary to what the vegetarian Minister feels, Madhya Pradesh, even though primarily a Hindu state, has less than 35% vegetarians according to a 2006 survey.

50% of children in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished. Eggs are a vital source of protein for the poor. (Photo: PTI)
50% of children in Madhya Pradesh are malnourished. Eggs are a vital source of protein for the poor. (Photo: PTI)

According to the Indian Express report, the decision is a “ sentimental” issue which the CM took at the behest of the minority Jain community.

“Do eggs grow on trees? No. Its consumption has several side-effects. When children eat non-vegetarian food, their sensitivity dies.”

–Spokesperson, Digambar Jain Mahasamiti

The Midday Meal Scheme

A flagship programme of the Government of India, the midday meal scheme feeds more than 10 crore school children to provide supplementary nutrition. On a national level, it started in 1995 with the intention of increasing nutrition levels in kids and retaining enrolment in rural areas.

Given the severe malnourishment most children in rural India face, protein in the midday meal schemes has shown to improve the health of children.

(Photo: iStock)
(Photo: iStock)

Bizarre Move

Food interference is not new to the current government. The beef ban in Maharashtra and now the removal of eggs from the midday meal scheme in MP. Why is the government killing the poor man’s protein?

We have 2.3 crore malnourished children in India.

Our malnutrition statistics are worse than that of sub-sahara Africa, Afghanistan and even Pakistan.

In such a scenario, can our Ministers afford to be so ridiculous?

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