Ksheera Bhagya is the programme of distributing milk to school and anganawadi children by the Karnataka State Government in collaboration with Karnataka Milk Federation, District Milk Unions, Department of Primary & Secondary Education and Department of Women and Child Development. Karnataka is the first state in the country to provide milk to children for five days a week.
Hon’ble Chief Minister Siddaramaiah launched the programme on August 1, 2013. He said Karnataka has a large number of people living below the poverty line and there was a need for the government to take up welfare schemes to benefit them.
“A large number of children are suffering from malnutrition especially in rural areas as it is difficult for their parents to afford nutritious food. Milk has a lot of nutrients like vitamins, protein and calcium, which plays a major role in child’s development. Providing it five times a week will help tackle malnutrition to a large extent,”
- CM Siddaramaiah.
Anganwadi and school children studying in government and aided schools are given 150 ml of milk along with their mid-day meals. This has increased the enrolments in the schools and reduced the dropout rate. This scheme will not only help tackle malnutrition, but will also benefit our state’s dairy farmers.
Based on the recommendation of Women and Child Development Department, the Chief Minister in his 2017-18 budget, provided eggs for 2 days a week for anganawadi children to fight malnutrition. To ease the burden on rural parents due to prevailing drought situation, the Government of Karnataka, extended the mid-day meals scheme during summer vacations in 2016 and 2017. Over 27 lakh children in 160 taluks benefitted from this scheme.
Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) had recently introduced three varieties of flavoured milk in some schools of Belagavi and other districts on a pilot basis and found out that most students have a likening for chocolate-flavoured milk. Taking this into consideration, the state government had asked the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) to produce three different flavours of milk: chocolate, vanilla and badam. The department is now supplying flavoured milk to nearly one crore children and is planning to supply flavoured milk in tetra packs to maintain quality. In an interview Additional chief secretary of Karnataka government K Ratna Prabha said, "Why only children, even adults love flavoured milk".
“Milk was never so tasty before,” exclaimed Mayappa, a ninth standard student of Government High School, Tandavapura, Nanjangud taluk, Mysore after drinking flavoured milk distributed at his school.
B M Annapoorna, student of 10th standard, was happy that underprivileged fellow students too would get an opportunity to drink the milk every day. Pushpa T S, her classmate, said, the government’s initiative of providing milk along with mid-day meals would help students gain more nutrition and become more attentive.
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