Food for 1.6 million children every day

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 Quality and Hygiene
The children were keen on variety and were excited by the MDM when they get food they
prefer like local delicacies and sweets. This variety in food is important because the MDM
children observe that affluent children who attend private schools carry their own lunch, which
contains food of their choice and liking. Children in MDM schools cite this as a reason to
demand better quality food with variety built into the menu. Seeing teachers eat the meal
provided an assurance of the quality of the food, and their participation generated an amiable
feeling of sharing. The MDM has led to increasing awareness of health and hygiene amongst
children and they share this knowledge with their parents and siblings too.
Teachers and other stakeholders see the MDM as more than simply the provision of food. The
MDM is seen as providing an important social environment where children interact, breaking
barriers such as those of the caste system. It enhances communication skills as well as builds
children’s confidence. All children in the schools, irrespective of caste and gender were treated
equally. Stakeholders, such as Gram Panchayat members, Principals and teachers see a shift in
the attitude of children in schools with the MDM programme.
‘the evaluation suggests that the mid-day meal programme certainly had positive impact on the
factors of attendance, enrolment, retention, socialisation and health of the children. If the midday meal is implemented effectively and is supported with other facilities like the quality of
education, proper sanitation facilities, free books and uniforms, then it can further harness the
potential of the programme by increasing enrolment, retention and attendance.’
Study by Kusuma Trust

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