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C'garh: Eggs to be provided at home if vegetarian parents

The Chhattisgarh government said Tuesday that if some parents oppose serving eggs in mid-day meals at the school, authorities should arrange to serve eggs to the students whose families have no objection at home.

The instruction came after there was opposition to the Congress government's proposal to serve eggs in mid-day meals at government schools.

The school education department in January this year had suggested including eggs or milk or other food item with equivalent nutrition value in the mid-day meal twice a week.

A clarification was issued Tuesday, asking district collectors to hold a meeting of the Shala Vikas Samiti and the parents within two weeks, where the students who do not want eggs in the mid-day meal would be identified.

Eggs should be cooked separately, and while serving meals, separate sitting arrangement should be made for vegetarian students, it said.

Vegetarian students should be provided soya milk, protein crunch, fortified biscuits, fortified soya-badis or cooked fortified pulses as an alternative, it said.

But if there is no agreement on serving eggs (if vegetarian parents do not want eggs served at the school at all), then the concerned Shala Vikas Samiti should devise a system to serve eggs to students (who want to eat them) at their homes, the department added.

Members of the Kabir Panthi sect had recently staged a protest demanding that eggs be removed from the mid-day meal menu, saying their children study at government schools and eggs were against their ethos.

Opposition BJP and Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) raised the issue in the state assembly Monday, asking the government to respect the sentiments of the Kabir Panthis.

Congress MLAs defended the decision saying eggs would help prevent malnourishment among children in tribal and other backward areas.