Chennai, July 28 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu government has made it mandatory that the food products used for preparing free breakfast to be provided to school children are Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) certified. This is to ensure that the much-hyped project which is the first of its kind in the country is devoid of any allegations regarding the poor quality of food. The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K . Stalin on May 7, 2022, in the state assembly, announced that the state would roll out free breakfast for government school children of Classes 1 to IV.
The initiative intended to provide nutritious breakfast to children of government primary school children. The cost of the project is estimated to be Rs 33.56 crore for a year and will benefit 1,14,095 students spread across 1545 government schools in the state.
The Chief Minister on Wednesday stated that the government order has been issued for the first phase of the programme and that the FSSAI certification will be made mandatory to ensure that quality food is served to the children. Stalin also said that there would be surprised checks and inspections by the food inspectors. The food will be prepared either from a centralized kitchen or from an appropriate place, the Chief Minister said.
According to the state school education department officials, breakfast would be provided to students on all working days, and on two days, it will include millets cultivated in the state. The menu of the food includes, Upma with sambar, rava kesari, or semia kesari and all the raw materials that are used in the breakfast have to be compulsorily received FSSAI certification.
The government has also strictly issued directives that the reuse of oil is not permitted and if any violation is conducted stringent punishment would be meted out to those who indulge in such things.
The scheme would be implemented by the Social welfare department and heads of local bodies like corporations as well as municipality commissioners.
It is to be noted that the state government has announced this scheme of providing free breakfast to government primary school students in addition to the free lunch that is served for these children.