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Mid Day Meal Scheme in Maharashtra

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Priti M. Kharade

S. K. Mane.

Research Scholar

Research Scholar

Dept. of Geography

Dept. of Geography

Shivaji University Kolhapur.

Shivaji University Kolhapur.

ABSTRACT:

This paper represents the overview of National Program of Nutritional support to primary education known as Mid Day Meal Scheme in Maharashtra. The malnutrition was widespread in India and other developing countries. The under nutrition and over nutrition may cause due to various reasons. The various causes of malnutrition and its effects have explained previously in this paper. The paper mainly focuses on the background and implementation of Mid Day Meal Scheme, impacts or benefits or achievements of the scheme are discussed. The Mid Day Meal Scheme has initiated and employed in practice and have achieved the defined objectives such as improved the school performance, attendance of children in school and minimized the malnutrition problems to some extent. During the last 8-9 years the different activities have been carried out under this program throughout India. The progress of the program or scheme achieved at each year gradually by considering and solving the various problems relating to implementation of scheme.

Keywords: Mid Day Meal Scheme, malnutrition, nutritional deficiency, impact.

  1. INTRODUCTION:

The school performance of the children is indirectly affected by nutrition status. The undernourished children cannot concentrate on their studies and hence it holds the education process. The child with empty stomach deviate his concentration or attention to food instead of learning. So the Mid Day Meal Scheme has implemented to overcome the hunger to improve nutrition status of children as well as their learning process by offering sufficient nutritious food during school days. In India the problems like malnutrition, under nutrition increasing unacceptably high though India has made huge development in science, medicine and technology with economic growth and though it is second fastest growing country in the world.

The malnutrition is a multidimensional complex issue and affected due to poverty, insufficient food consumption, unequal food distribution, gender inequality, poor environmental and sanitary facilities, lack of education and social services. Thus to mitigate the malnutrition problems the different schemes have implemented for the physical development of children, their nutrition status and socio- economic development. The different causes of malnutrition and its consequences may be analyzed in different perspectives. The Mid Day Meal scheme is implemented and used in practice to overcome the hunger of school children, widespread poverty, reduce social and gender inequity.

  1. STUDY REGION:

The study area, Maharashtra is one of the agriculturally, economically developed state of India. It is the foci of economic, administrative and social activities of the south western part of India. The state is located in south western part of India between 15 °45’ to 22° 00’ The North Latitudes and at 72° 45’to 8° 45’ East longitudes having 3, 07,713 sq km. area. The state is divided into 36 Districts also sub divided in to 6 Division. The geographical area of Maharashtra state is 308 Lakh hectares and its cultivable area is 225 Lakh hectares. Agriculture is the mainstay of the state of Maharashtra. It is the main occupation of the people. The major crops are Wheat, Millet, Maize and rice in Maharashtra.

According to census of India, 2011 total population is 112,372,972 of which male and female are 58,361,397 and 54,011,575 respectively. The growth rate of Maharashtra is 9.29%. The density of Maharashtra is 365 for 1km2. The sex ratio is 946.The literacy rate in Maharashtra has seen upward trend and is 82.91 percent as per 2011 population census. Of that, male literacy stands at 89.82 percent while female literacy is at 75.48 percent.

  1. CAUSES OF MALNUTRITION:

The Malnutrition causes may be multidimensional. Most of the literatures on nutrition indicate the problems of malnutrition in people, children caused due to poor quality, insufficient intake of food, disease, health problems, excessive illness etc. The millions of persons, both children and adult suffer from under nutrition due to inability to get sufficient good quality of food because of poverty in most of the developing countries.

The price and demand of the food fluctuates periodically (continuously) based on availability and seasons. Due to seasonal fluctuations the food production rate may breakdown. So the food distribution may get unbalanced and the flow of income cuts down. This increases the risk of widespread famine. The famine occurred during 1974 in, China, Ethiopian and Nigeria about 30 million people were died due to famine in china.

The cause of malnutrition is ignorance towards excessive diseases, illness, lack of knowledge, illiteracy, education about science, and nutrition is identified as one of the major cause of malnutrition. The inequality gender problems, inequality Socio- economical status are the causes of malnutrition due to unbalanced and unequal food distribution. The lack of knowledge about proper child care, disease management causes the malnutrition in children up to age of 0 to 6.

Thus the cause of malnutrition is multidimensional based on social, economical, regional, physical, seasonal, political dimensions.

  1. IMPACTS OF MALNUTRITION:

The most of the developing countries badly suffers from malnutrition problems in adult as well as in children. The effects of malnutrition destroy the economic growth of country ultimately. The insufficient, poor quality of food minimizes the consumption of various nutrition elements so that the nutrition deficiency problems arise in developing countries. The iron deficiency causes the mental retardation, anemia which reduces the school performance of the children.

The deficiency of iodine causes the cretinism in majority of people. The reduced level of vitamin A in children suffers from eye and skin problems. The low weight or high weight causes under nutrition or over nutrition due to mineral and protein, energy inadequacy. Thus consistently deficiency of above nutrition may cause excessive diseases and illness in children and increases the inability to improve the school performance. These are the physical problems caused due to malnutrition. The malnutrition affects on the children learning and concentration capability so it decreases the attendance and enrollment in school and decreases the regular school performance: Such malnourished children are quick and frequent affects by several infections.

Thus due to poverty the people unable to spent to overcome the disease and illness due to malnutrition leads to breakdown of economic growth of people, society and ultimately country. The children are the future citizen of our country so the malnutrition problems should be minimized at school age children level through nutrition and health education.

  1. BACKGROUND AND PROVISIONS OF MID DAY MEAL SCHEME:

The Mid day Meal Scheme is initiated on 15 th August 1995 as a National Program of Nutritional support to Primary education. The Main aim of this scheme is to increase the attendance of children in school and improve their Physical and health, nutritional level by offering sufficient, good quality and nutritionally adequate meal per school working day. It was initiated in only 2408 blocks and in 2004. It has been revised most of the time and currently operating in all blocks of country to cover the children below age of 14 years. i.e. children in classes 1 to 5. Under this scheme various revised activities have been conducted throughout the country per year. And the implementation progress and problems of this scheme have been analyzed at National level with more vigor and enthusiasm.

In 2004, the scheme was revised to supply cooked mid day meal for children in class I-V with.300 calories and 8-12 gm. of protein per day. In addition food grains should be provided per month to the children. In 2007, the scheme has revised and start to provide mid day meal for the children in class VI to VIII.

The food nutrition norm should be given to the students by mid day meal scheme program as follows:

Sr. No.

Items

Quantity

Per Day

   

Primary

Upper Primary

 

Food grains (viz. rice, wheat)

100 gms

150 gms

 

Pulses

20 gms

30 gms

 

Vegetables

50 gms

75 gms

 

Oil & fat

5 gms

7.5 gms

 

Salt & Condiments

As per need

As per need

This information was given by the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Smt. Smriti Irani in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha question (2014)

The various cooked food should be provided derived from rice such as Idali Sambhar, Dal Rice Khichdi, Rice Kheer, Vegetable Rice, etc. as mid day meal suggested by School Education Department. Also biscuits, eggs or bananas should be given to the students once in a weak. The weakly mid day meal timetable should be prepared by school and followed regularly.

The food quality control and regular monitoring of Mid Day Meal Scheme should be done effectively and Maharashtra has well established system for it.

4.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE MID DAY MEAL SCHEME:

The provision of adequate nutritional meal free of cost to the school children on school working days is the main objective of the Mid Day Meal Scheme. The scheme was implemented with following objectives:-

  1. To mitigate hunger by providing hot cooked meal to the children in schools.
  2. To improve nutritional level of children
  3. To promote poor children to increase the attendance in school, to help them to improve concentration in classroom, to increase retention and fresh enrollment.
  4. To maintain social equality among the children.
  1. IMPACTS OF MID DAY MEAL SCHEME:

The mitigation of hunger at school children is one of the important objectives of Mid Day Meal Scheme. The hunger was eliminated by providing the mi day meal to every student during school days so that the attendance of children in school, retention rate and fresh enrollment has increased in Maharashtra as compared to other states in India except Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The fresh enrollment number has continuously increased. The response of teachers in Maharashtra shows that the fresh enrollment has increased due to mid day meal about 75%. In Maharashtra near about 50% of sample schools have increased the student attendance in school and increased the awareness towards school and education. The rates also have been increased in Maharashtra about 66%.

The mid day meal scheme has also decreased the malnutrition problems, starvation and hunger. This has increased the health status of children, increased physical level so increased the learning capability and concentration of children in school.

Due to mid day meal scheme the problems of socio-economic inequity, gender inequity has decreased to some extent. Thus various researchers and organizations have conducted case studies and have reported the performance and impact of mid day meal scheme. The studies shows that the mid day meal scheme as National Program resulted in an increase in fresh enrollments, regular attendance of children in class and their learning capability with social and gender equity.

  1. SUGGESTIONS:

The study has identified some scope for improvement of impact of mid day meal scheme and children health improvements. The schemes should be employed for employment for construction of kitchen sheds, safe drinking water provision, good and sufficient sanitary requirements, regular health checkup facilities, regular monitoring of schemes, regular reporting of scheme, updating the various provisions of schemes, guidelines and education regarding science, nutrition and health should be arranged regularly by government of India. For such various schemes funds from various committee and government should be electronically transfer in account of implementation authority so that the total fund should be available and used for scheme itself.

  1. CONCLUSION:

This paper has provided an overview of National Program- Mid Day Meal Scheme of Maharashtra. The various causes and effects of malnutrition have explained. The mid day meal scheme is employing in practice regularly in Maharashtra. The mid day meal scheme has achieved the basic objectives like increased the children performance in school, attendance, retention and increased learning capability in students. The problems of malnutrition reduced to some extent. The mid day meal scheme and similar government scheme should be started and employed regularly to improve the physical growth of children and economic and social growth of country.

REFERENCES:

  • Anima Rani Si, Naresh Kumar Sharma (2008), An Empirical Study of the Mid-Day Meal Programme in Khurda, Orissa, Economic and Political weekly, pp. 46-55.
  • Annual Report (2013-14), Department of School Education & Literacy Department of Higher Education Ministry of Human Resource Development Government of India.
  • Economic Survey of Maharashtra (2013-2014), Directorate of economics and statistics, planning department, government of Maharashtra, Mumbai.
  • Jean Dreze, Aparajita Goyal (2003), Future of Mid-Day Meal Scheme, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. no-44, pp-4673-83.
  • K. Vijayaraghavan (2002) ‘Beginning of School Meals Programmes in Different States’, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad.
  • R.A. Bello, G.T. Ijaiya (1998): Socio -Economic causes of malnutrition and its impact on learning capability and productivity of school-age children, IJEM, vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 120-126.
  • Reetika Khera (2013), Mid-Day Meals: Looking Ahead, Economic & Political Weekly vol. no. 32, pp. 12-14. EPW
  • ‘Sustainable nutrition security in India: A Leadership agenda for action’, the coalition for Sustainable Nutrition Security in India, May 2010.

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