Memorandum to Chief Minister (01-12-2020): Restart supply of milk/milk powder under the Ksheerya Bhagya scheme to school children

Date: 01-12-2020

To,

Shri B S Yediyurappa,

The Hon’ble Chief Minister,

Government of Karnataka,

Bengaluru,

Sub: Restart supply of  milk/milk powder under the Ksheerya Bhagya scheme to school children.

Respected Sir,

We are a group of nutritionists, doctors, activists, lawyers and citizens, who are making an urgent appeal to resume provision of milk/milk powder to school children under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme for government-run and government-aided schools. 

The Ksheera Bhagya scheme which started in the year 2013-14 and provides a glass (150 ml) of hot milk to school-going children in Karnataka  is a progressive and significant nutritional scheme by the Government of Karnataka which has been appreciated across the country. For several children studying in  government-run and government-aided schools, Ksheera Bhagya scheme is the only source of milk-protein and many other vitamins and minerals. As is well known, a majority of the children studying in government-run and government-aided school come from economically and socially marginalized communities including Dalit, Adivasi and Other Backward Classes. 

It is therefore a matter of grave concern that after the closing of schools due to COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a total shutdown of supply of milk/milk powder to children since June 2020 under the Scheme. The reason appears to be a Note by the Finance Department which states that

“In view of providing sufficient ration to all families in the State through Public Distribution System (PDS) and Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), it is advised not to implement the scheme. However, the Administrative Department is directed to implement the regular mid-day meals scheme as and when the schools reopen and start functioning.”

The above note overlooks the fact that milk is not being provided under either the PDS system or under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. Several media reports show that ‘sufficient ration’ is not at all being provided to many families and even those who have received rations, have only received cereal, specifically, rice. Additionally, these two schemes can be accessed by only those having BPL cards while Ksheera Bhagya covers children of several families who do not have BPL cards. 

The reluctance of the Government of Karnataka to provide  milk/milk powder to children under Ksheera Bhagya scheme is particularly unjustified when Karnataka Milk Federation has been reporting surplus milk procurement for which it is unable to find a market. A recent news report appearing in the New Indian Express also shows that the pandemic and its effects may have worsened hunger and pushed many children across the state into starvation. If the worsening situation of child malnutrition is not addressed immediately, it could even reverse the limited progress made in the last few years by us towards a malnutrition-free Karnataka. 

Hence, in the interest of children studying in government-run and government-aided schools, we urge you to ensure that Milk/milk powder should be provided to the school-children under the Ksheera Bhagya scheme of the state government for all pending months since June and on a regular and prompt basis for the subsequent months till the opening of the schools.

Cc:

  1. Shri S Suresh Kumar, Hon’ble Minister for Primary and Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka.
  2. Chief Secretary to Government of Karnataka.
  3. Principal Secretary, Department of Primary and Secondary Education, Government of Karnataka

Signed by-

S. No.NameAffiliation
1Aasha RameshSocial Activist and Researcher
2Abdul RazakSecular Indians
3Abhigna ArigalaDevelopment Professional
4AbhishekStudent
5Alwyn D’SouzaIndian Social Institute, Bengaluru
6AnannyaIndependent
7Anant PhadkeJan Swasthy Abhiyan
8Anbarasi SampthIndividual
9Anita RegoPearlss 4 Development
10Ankur SharmaIndependent
11Arati ChokshiIndependent
12Arul Anthony PandianBunnji Telecom – Melbourne – Australia
13Avani ChokshiCPI(ML)
14BhargaviIndependent
15Bittu K RKarnataka Janashakti
16Cavery BopaiahSwaraj Abhiyan
17Chandni GaneshSt. Joseph’s College
18Dimple Oberoi VahaliIndependent Activist
19Dr Sylvia KarpagamPublic health doctor
20Dr. Mohan RaoIndependent researcher in Bangalore
21Dr. Veena ShatrugnaFormer Deputy Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad
22Dr.Niranjanaradhya.V.P.Centre for Child and the Law, NLSIU,Bengaluru
23Dr.Ramachandrappa HTImpact India Consortium Bengaluru
24G RaviDisability Rights Activist
25Gunjan zutshiIndependent
26Guru prasadHuman Rights Awareness
27Harun RasheedIndependent
28Huzafah Sadaf SMIndependent
29Issac AmurutharajSJS-K
30Jagrat Yogaj BiswalEmployee in Private Company
31Jeevan HLSwaraj India
32Joseph XavierIndian Social Institute Bangalore
33Kalpanashivanna President, Chiguru ಬಾಲವಿಕಾಸ Samsthe
34Kathyayini ChamarajCIVIC Bangalore / Right to Food Campaign
35KP SinghSwaraj India
36Latha RamjiHealth for all group
37Mallamma yalawarSabala
38Mallappa S KumbarKarnataka sexual minorities forum
39Mohammed Sadath HussainRamaiah Institute of technology
40Nachiket UdupaConcerned individual
41Nagendra.b.s.ICDSS
42Naveen TejaswiKannadada MakkaLu
43Nidhin SasiIT Employee
44Padmini KumarJoint Women’s Programme
45Prakruti maitriIndividual
46Prateek RathLawyer
47Pushpahs.61@gmail.comNamma Manasa
48R SrinivasanRetd IIMB
49R.KALEEM ULLAHSWARAJ ABHIYAN BANGALORE
50Raja VemulaBrother of Rohith Vemula
51RajaniIndependent consultant
52Ravikiran SuryanarayanamurthySakra World Hospital
53Rizwan sMercy mission
54Sagar SIT employee
55Shahbuddin KhanPinnacle Foundation
56Shashank S RNational Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru
57ShashidharLawyer
58Shruthi RamanCentre for Child and the Law, NLSIU
59Siddharth K JIndependent Researcher, Bengaluru
60Sneha RajaramWriter, Bangalore
61Souri MajumderNational Institute of Advanced Studies
62Sr.Monica RaniHis Paradise for the Deserted Charitable Trust
63Sudha NIndependent
64Supreeth GopalIndependent
65Suresha BMedia House
66Sushi MachaliIndependent
67SWARUPA RANISAKAR,FIAN INDIA,COMMON HEALTH
68Syed Tousif MasoodNaavu Bharathiyaru
69SYED WASEEM RAJAYouth India Association
70Terry paisPresident of Diocesan council of catholic women mangalore
71Vandana SrivastavaCentre for Learning
72Vijaya Kumar seethappaKarnataka janaarogya Chaluvali
73Vinay K SAdvocate
74Vinaya NayakIndividual
75Vishwesha GuttalIndian Institute of Science
76Zainab N SIndividual
77Zia NomaniBandhua Mukti Morcha

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