According to sources in an initiative to help students from rural areas, mid-day meals will now be implemented in intermediate colleges, for students of Class 11 and 12 in Visakhapatnam district of Andhra Pradesh. Meanwhile this is possibly the first time in India that mid-day meals will be implemented for students from Classes 11 and 12.
Furthermore an official from the Visakhapatnam Collector’s office told TNM, “This initiative has been taken up by the government after realizing that many students who attend the colleges come from smaller districts and mandals and do not have the option to go home for lunch.” Meanwhile the Right to Education Act states that children have the right to free and compulsory education at the elementary education level. Even though the Act specifically applies to children between the ages of 6 and 14, the initiative taken up by the Andhra Pradesh government is now being expanded to include students of Class 11 and 12, considering the prevalence of malnutrition in the state.
Moreover approximately Rs 23 crore has been allocated in the state’s 2018
to 2019 annual budget for the extension of the midday meal scheme, alone. Recently
the mid-day meal scheme was introduced as a central scheme in India in 1995 and
was implemented in Andhra Pradesh in 2003, for students in Classes 1 to 5 and
was later expanded in 2008 to include Classes 6 to 10 as well.
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