Midday meals for madrasas in Bihar too

Under the Scheme, state provides grain 100gm per day, per child, for primary and 150gm for upper primary pupils at subsidised rates

Patna: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in Bihar headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced it will serve midday meals to all children enrolled in 814 madrasas as well.

The madrasas are running with aid from the state government, but the midday meal facility was so far not available to children enrolled there.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the education department chaired by education minister Krishnandan Verma on Monday evening.

With the new decision, around 100,000 Muslim children enrolled at the schools are set to benefit, authorities said.

Reports said the minister also directed the officials concerned to prepare a district-wise list of such madrasas and submit the same with the director of the Midday Meal project soon to ensure the children enrolled could be provided free lunches in school by this month end.

Under the scheme, the Central Government provides food grains at the rate of 100 grammes per day per child for primary and 150 grammes for upper primary children.

The entire cost of food is borne by the central government.

The funding for cooking cost which includes the cost of vegetables, pulses, oil, condiments and fuel is shared with the States/UTs in the ratio of 90:10 for North-east region states and three Himalayan states, 100 per cent for Union Territories and 60:40 for all other States.

The cooking cost is Rs4.13 and Rs6.18 per child per day for primary and upper primary stages respectively, as per an official report.

The ruling Nitish Kumar government has gone all out to woo the Muslim community post break-up of alliance with Lalu Prasad-led Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) which is said to be enjoying support of the minority class people.

The fresh development comes barely days after the state government hiked the financial aid being given the Muslim divorcees and those women who were rejected by their husbands. Earlier such women being provided a financial aid of Rs10,000 (Dh576) but now this amount has been increased to Rs25,000.

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