Telangana launches Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for students in government school

The scheme is expected to be extended to all schools in the state by 26 October, said Education Department officials.

ByDeepika Pasham

Published Oct 06, 2023 | 4:52 PMUpdatedOct 06, 2023 | 5:23 PM

Telangana assembly election

The Telangana government launched the Chief Minister’s Breakfast Scheme for schoolchildren in select government schools on Friday, 6 October.

The scheme is aimed at reducing hunger in the classroom, addressing malnutrition, optimising the health and growth of students, motivating students to attend school regularly, maximising enrolment, reducing the dropout rate, and improving socialisation. It was originally slated for a 24 October launch, coinciding with Vijayadashami. The scheme will soon be extended to all government schools.

Ministers KT Rama Rao, Talsani Srinivas Yadav, Indra Karan Reddy, other people’s representatives, and government officials served idli, sambar, and upma in the selected schools. The project was launched in one school each in every Assembly constituency.

Related: KCR comes up with breakfast scheme for Telangana schoolchildren

Ministers launch scheme

Finance Minister, T Harish Rao, Information and Public Relations Minister, Patnam Mahender Reddy and Education Minister, Sabitha Indra Reddy launched the scheme at the Zilla Parishad High School at Raviryal in the Ranga Reddy district, and interacted with the students.

Idli, upma and sambar were served to students. (Supplied)

Idli, upma, and sambar were served to students. (Supplied)

The scheme was launched simultaneously in select schools by the Ministers and MLAs in all 119 constituencies. After launching the scheme, the ministers joined the students for breakfast.

Harish Rao said that more than 20 lakh students in 27,147 government schools in the state would benefit from the scheme and Telangana was the only state to offer breakfast for school students from Class 1 to 10. He hoped that it would bring about a revolutionary change in school education as students could focus on education.

Most children enrolled in government schools come from low-income families and the scheme would help parents also.

Sabitha Indra Reddy said that the scheme would provide nutritious food every day, which would also prevent them from dropping out. She said two students out of every 10 students normally have breakfast before school.

Also read: Tamil Nadu launches free breakfast scheme for school students 

KTR seeks feedback

The minister also said that the mid-day meal scheme covered students from Classes 1 to 8 across the country, but the Telangana government extended the benefit to students studying in Classes 9 and 10 as well. Jaggery is also provided to students.

Minister KT Rama Rao, Commissioner Ronald Rose of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad District Collector Anudeep, Education Department Officer Rohini, Zonal Commissioner Ravi Kiran, Additional Commissioner Sneha, and others attended the launch at the West Maredpally Government School in Secunderabad Cantonment.

KTR said that Tamil Nadu has been providing breakfast for students studying in Classes 1 to 5, “but our chief minister has taken up the breakfast programme to provide nutritious food to the students from Class 1 to Class 10”.

He asked the teachers and students for feedback. The minister also suggested that the quality of food should be checked regularly. He congratulated Leela Joseph of the Manna Trust for serving the breakfast.

Scheme to cover all schools by month-end

Students of other schools were unaware of the scheme. Sushanth (name changed), a Class VI student of Government Higher Secondary School in Medchal-Malkajgiri was unaware of the scheme. “I wasn’t told about the breakfast so I had rice at home. The teachers will serve food in the afternoon,” he told South First.

The headmaster of one of the schools for boys said apart from schools where the scheme was launched, others have not received any intimation on when it would be rolled out. “Since the schools will be closed for Dussehra vacation, we think it will be launched only after the vacation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Education Department officials said the scheme would cover all schools by 26 October. “This is part of the pilot project. The scheme will be extended to all government schools by 26 October. Today, it was launched in a few schools,” an official told South First.

‘Burden on teachers’

School headmasters, however, felt the scheme would place an additional burden on teachers if an implementing agency was not appointed.

“The scheme is a burden to all of us because, in the twin cities, the breakfast should be served 45 minutes before the school prayer. So the cooks will have to come by 6 am. Who will come that early and cook breakfast? Immediately after breakfast, they should start preparing lunch. The teachers cannot take the responsibility and a private agency must monitor the scheme,” a headmistress, who did not wish to be identified, said.

Another headmaster felt that the initial 15 days would be problematic. “Later, the students will adapt to the timing,” he opined.