Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched the ‘Hot Cooked Meal Scheme’ for children aged 3 to 6 years in Anganwadi centres of the State from Ayodhya on November 24.
This initiative involves providing 70 grams of food grains per beneficiary per day in the form of hot-cooked meals to children in co-located Anganwadi centres.
With the commencement of this scheme, guidelines have been issued by the Department of Basic Education for the implementation of the ‘Hot Cooked Meal Scheme’ in co-located Anganwadi centres for children aged 3 to 6 years registered at Anganwadi centres, the Government said in a release.
As per the guidelines, workers and helpers of co-located Anganwadi centers, as well as the kitchens of primary and upper primary schools, have been instructed to work together to prepare mid-day meals and hot cooked food and serve it to the children.
Vijay Kiran Anand, the Director of Midday Meal and Director General of School Education, has issued guidelines to all Basic Education Officers on this matter. It has been said that the arrangement of food grains and other ingredients, including pulses, vegetables, oil, spices, fuel, etc., for preparing hot cooked food will be ensured by the Department of Child Development Services and Nutrition at the co-located Anganwadi centres. Mid-day meals and hot cooked food will be prepared jointly by the cook and Anganwadi helper and distributed to the children.
To facilitate the preparation of hot-cooked food along with midday meals, an additional incentive of 0.50 rupees per child per working day (for children in Anganwadi centres) will be transferred to the accounts of the helpers by the Department of Child Development Services and Nutrition under the PM POSHAN scheme. The responsibility of timely delivery of meals to Anganwadi centres located within a radius of 200 meters from primary and upper primary schools, as well as distributing hot and fresh meals to children, will be the responsibility of the respective Anganwadi helpers.
The entire responsibility of preparing and distributing hot cooked food during winter and summer vacations will be of the concerned Anganwadi worker and assistant.
The hot-cooked food will be prepared along with a mid-day meal for children of 3 to 6 years of age registered in Anganwadi centres located in primary and upper primary schools as well as located within a radius of 200 meters from the school, i.e. co-located Anganwadi centres. This hot-cooked food will be distributed as per the mid-day meal menu (except fruits and milk) during the prescribed lunch period in schools only.
The decision regarding the affiliation of Anganwadi centres will be made by the respective District Magistrate, determining which school’s kitchen within a 200-meter radius of primary and upper primary schools will prepare food for the centre. Anganwadi workers will provide assistance to cooks in preparing hot-cooked food.
In schools where voluntary organisations are providing mid-day meals, the selection of voluntary organisations for co-located Anganwadi centres, following the joint guidelines of Child Development Services and Nutrition, will be carried out by the District Program Officer.
For co-located Anganwadi centres serving hot cooked meals to children aged 3 to 6 years from primary school kitchens, the responsibility of bringing the meals from the primary school kitchen to the Anganwadi centre and serving the meals to the children while maintaining cleanliness will be assigned to the respective Anganwadi helper. This arrangement will also apply to Anganwadi centres located within a 200-meter radius of primary and upper primary schools.
The Anganwadi helper will also be in charge of keeping the utensils used in hot-cooked meals clean and ensuring that all children’s hands are washed before and after meals. Additionally, the Anganwadi helper will be responsible for arranging a clean space for feeding hot-cooked meals.
(with inputs from ANI)