More menus are on the cards for the children as noon meal centres in the government and government aided schools across Tamil Nadu will soon have modernised kitchens on a par with restaurants.
More than 45 lakh students were daily benefited from Tamil Nadu nutritious meal programme, which is rated as the best in the country. A senior official from School Education Department told DT Next that at present primary school children in the age group of 5-9 years and upper primary school students in the age group of 10-15 years are provided with nutritious variety meals inside the school premises itself, for five school days in a week for a total of 220 days in a year.
“However, infrastructure of most of the kitchens in the anganwadi centres, which provide noon meal to the students, were not upgraded,” he said adding, “Therefore, it has been decided to modernise the kitchens.”
According to the official, the modernisation of the kitchen includes tiles flooring, proper concrete stage for stoves, closed cupboards, latest electrical fittings and new kitchen items including modern vegetable cutters, vessels and plates.
Stating the all the kitchens in 43,283 existing meal centres will upgraded, he noted that the kitchen would be upgraded based on the strength of the students. “If students are more, number of gas stoves will be increased for speedy cooking,” he said.
The official said pest control measures will also be undertaken in the kitchen to stop ants, spiders, rodents, bugs, cockroaches, termites, mosquitoes, flies and wasps coming inside the kitchen since many food commodities were kept there.
“Similarly, following the feedback from the parents and teachers, the authorities were in the process of introducing more dishes to the students,” he said adding, the new dishes would have more calories and protein, which is vital for students’ health.