The West Bengal government on Saturday asked all state-run schools, that are shut till April 15 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, to open the institutes on Sunday to facilitate quick distribution of mid-day meals to children, officials said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for a 'Janata Curfew' on Sunday.
A circular issued by the District Inspector of Schools, Kolkata said that since rice and potato -- 2 kg for each student for a month -- will be distributed from the schools from Monday onwards, "all heads of schools are requested to keep the institutes open on Saturday and Sunday".
The circular was sent to all junior, high and higher secondary schools under Kolkata district.
A school education department official said similar circulars were sent to schools in other districts.
"We want to ensure that the students are not deprived of mid-day meals even when classes are suspended," he said.
The official said that the students won't have to come to the schools and the mid-day meals will be handed over to their guardians.
Meanwhile, taking a dig at the TMC government, BJP MP Swapan Dasgupta said, "To undermine Sunday's Janata Curfew, W Bengal government has deemed rice & potatoes will be distributed at schools tomorrow. This means there will be crowds at schools. The exercise, which could have been done Monday is aimed at subverting social distancing. This is vindictive politics."
The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, denied there was any political motive behind the move.
"Our CM Mamata Banerjee has given a call to unitedly fight the coronavirus outbreak. This circular is purely an administrative decision with regard to quick distribution of essential commodities for children. It should not be politicised," a senior TMC leader said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)