If Eggs Included In Mid-Day Meals, Will Protest: Lingayat Seer

Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government has decided to serve eggs in the mid-day meals in at least seven districts of the state. Lingayat seer Channabasavananda Swamiji has opposed this call of the government. He says that instead of eggs, grains and pulses should be given to the students. If eggs will be served they will protest against the government.

Speaking to India Today TV, Swami Vachananand Guru, Shwaasa Guru of the Harihara Panchamasali Mutt said that both Lingayats and Jains are pure vegetarians.

“If eggs are given, then schools will turn into military hotels. Instead, grains and pulses should be given. If the rule isn’t withdrawn, there will be severe protests,” Lingayat seer Channabasavananda Swamiji was quoted saying on December 2.

“Giving protein to children is good and they need it. You get protein in many vegetables as well. Protein is not just in eggs. This will lead to problems as far as our religious rituals are concerned and children will go astray. That is why we are saying the government should not do this. They could rather provide eggs to the homes of children who eat non-veg,” he added.

In the mid-day meals, the students of Classes 1-8 in government and government-aided schools will be served boiled eggs as a part of their meals.

Districts benefitting from this scheme are, Ballari, Bidar, Kalaburagi, Koppal, Raichur, Vijayapura, and Yadgir in North Karnataka. The full cost of which will be borne by the central government.

According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), over 14.4 lakh children in these seven districts are suffering from malnourishment.

BC Nagesh, Minister for Primary & Secondary Education in the Government of Karnataka, speaking to media said that multiple surveys have been conducted and the outcome of those surveys have stated that malnutrition was high among school children in Vijayapura and other districts.

“The central government considered this very seriously and has given extra funds to see that some special protein-rich food is to be given to these children. So, we have started it. We have not forced any children to take any particular type of food. Whichever the parents and children decide can take it. We want to see that protein has to be given to children,” the minister said.

The state government’s decision invited strong opposition from many in the Lingayat and Jain communities.

Meanwhile, several civil societies under the umbrella of ‘Our Food, Our Right’ have written to the Karnataka Education minister in support of the move to include boiled eggs in mid-day meals.

The government must not bow down to pressure from religious and political organizations in this regard, the outfits wrote.

According to the 5th National Family Health Survey (2019), 35.4 percent of children in Karnataka reported stunted growth, while 32.9 percent were found to be underweight.

Furthermore, it has been said that Karnataka is the only South Indian state not to introduce eggs as part of mid-day meals, even though a large number of students in government and aided schools consume them.


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