Stop giving egg for midday meal: BJP leader advocates for vegetarian students

by admin

Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the wife of deceased union minister Ananth Kumar, questioned the Karnataka government over why it served eggs to kids for lunch. The BJP leader claimed that many vegetarians would find eggs offensive and urged the state government to create regulations that are fair to everybody.

“Why has our Karnataka govt decided to give eggs in midday meal? these are not the only source of nutrition. It is also exclusionary to many students who are vegetarians. Our policies are to be designed such that every student has equal opportunity (sic),” she said.

In December 2021, many leaders from different communities and organisations disagreed with Lingayat organisations’ calls for the Karnataka Government to reverse its decision to include eggs in midday meals and insisted that the government uphold its decision. Some even threatened a nationwide uprising and court battle if the administration retreated.

The secretary of Jagatika Lingayat Mahasabha, S.M. Jamadar, stated that his organisation had no issues whatsoever as long as vegetarian alternatives were provided to schoolchildren.

Jamadar said it would be improper to force children from vegetarian societies, such as Lingayats, Jains, and Brahmins, to consume eggs. As the government provided a vegetarian equivalent to the egg in the form of a banana, it would give kids the chance to select from a variety of possibilities, he added.

To combat childhood malnutrition, C.S. Dwarakanath, a former chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes, demanded the inclusion of meat and eggs in the midday meal. He demanded that the government ought to make meat a part of the midday meal as well in addition to eggs. The majority of children have anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency, which can be treated by eating more meat, he added.

According to an earlier research commissioned by the Karnataka government, the addition of eggs to the mid-day meal programme in seven districts of the state has enhanced the nutritional status of the participating pupils.

Only 4.5 percent of the girls and 4.1 percent of the boys in the Yadgir district, out of the 4,500 children in Classes 1 through 8, chose to forego eggs in favour of bananas.

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