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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Eggs made part of govt. school mid-day meal in Karnataka, Hindu sensitivities steam-rolled

The decision of the Karnataka government to make eggs part of its mid-day meal scheme has drawn protests from parents. Parents have asked for leaving certificates saying that they don’t want to send their children to government schools where eggs are served as part of meals.

Parents protest eggs in mid-day meal

A report by The New Indian Express in this regard states:

In a bid to protest the introduction of eggs in midday meal scheme for the government schools children, at least three parents in Koppal and Ballari district have taken the leaving certificate of their wards to admit them to private schools. The reason given is they do not want to send their wards to government schools where egg is introduced as part of food.

Parents of a class 1 student from a government school in Koppal were first to take back the leaving certificate citing egg introduction as the issue. The parents reportedly told the school authorities that their wards could start eating eggs with the influence of other children. Two more cases of taking back transfer certificates were reported in Ballari as well. The education department officials are however firm on providing eggs and bananas for children.

“There are few incidents that came to our notice that parents are demanding leaving certificates to join their wards to private schools. It’s a mark of protest by the members of an organisation who have been opposing the introduction of eggs into midday meal schemes. All the schools have prepared the list of egg eating and banana eating students, and according to the list food is provided. There is no question of influence,” opined an education department official from Ballari.

Commenting on the move, Pejawar Swamiji said “everyone has freedom when it comes to food habits. Children will not have the know-how. The food habits which have come by way of custom and tradition must not be changed. By giving publicly (eggs etc), the government is sending the wrong message to society. So the government must instead give them equivalent money so that each person can buy what they want and eat. Schools are for education. The government should not attempt to change lifestyle through schools. Kids belonging to all sections will be in schools. So it is our request that steps which will create difference among them should not be done”.

Eggs only source of protein?

Food habits are a personal choice and shouldn’t be imposed. Also, it is a myth that only eggs are a good source of protein.

In fact, the diet of Haryana’s wrestlers who have brought accolades to the country is completely vegetarian. “The pehelwans are unanimous in their ambivalence to meat. They agree that it was not essential to the bodybuilding and wrestling lifestyle because the protein requirement is fulfilled by vegetables and paneer. About 200 grams of paneer a day is enough. If desired, chicken and lean meats are usually consumed 2 or 3 times a week to add to the diversity of the diet”, says a report by FirstPost.

A concerted campaign had been launched to discredit the satvik vegetarian food served by Akshaya Patra as part of the mid-day meal scheme. Karpagam and other activists cited nutritional reasons for demanding the termination of the contract by the Karnataka government in 2018.

Recall how left-liberals were up in arms when the administration decided to end beef in government schools in Lakshadweep, despite the fact that seafood is economical while cattle-rearing is prohibitively expensive in the archipelago. However, Kerala HC  stayed that order based on a petition which said, “these decisions interfere with the traditional culture and food habits of the people, and violated their right to choice and preserve culture. Thus the orders were violative of right to privacy and right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution”. 

(Featured Image Source: Deccan Herald)

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