Milk to boost taluk schools next month

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MILKMANGALORE: Students of 149 government and aided schools in Mangalore taluk would get milk under the newly launched Ksheera Bhagya scheme from next month. Milk will be prepared in these schools and served to students from Class 1 to 10.

The scheme could not start in these schools from August 1 as the government wanted ISKCON’s Akshaya Patra Foundation, which is providing midday meals, to take up milk supply, too. This was because only a few schools have the facilities to prepare the milk from milk powder.

Apart from providing milk powder, the government told the foundation it would be paid 59 paise per child per day for milk supply. The foundation sought two months’ time citing lack of required infrastructure. It was asked to supply milk three days in a week – about 3,000 litres each time.

Study on school needs

While awaiting the final decision of the government regarding entrusting the responsibility to the Foundation, the District administration “convinced head masters and other school administrators to prepare milk at the school premises,” said Chief Executive Officer of Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Thulasi Maddineni, who is overseeing implementation of the scheme in the district.

Instructions have been given to officials to study the needs of the schools, including utensils and cooking gas. “We hope to start giving milk by next month,” she said.

Head Master of Government Primary School in Jeppinamogaru Sujatha K.S. said a few days ago officials visited her school to look at the space available for preparing milk. “They have asked me to be ready with two helpers for the task.” Ms. Sujatha said there was no separate room for preparing milk for the 100 children studying there.

Head Master from Government Composite Secondary School in Katipalla Narayan Shettigar said officials have suggested use of vacant kitchen room of primary school for heating milk. Nearly 200 students studied in this school.

Deputy Director of Public Instruction Moses Jayashekar said a meeting of all headmasters has been called on Monday.

Stock ready

An official from Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Producers Union said they have stock of milk powder necessary for the 149 city schools.

The Union has already delivered milk powder to all schools in Puttur, Sullia and Bantwal. They have to reach out milk powder to 70 schools in Mangalore and Bantwal taluks, which will reach them in another four days, he said.

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