9.5 crore students provided food in March-August: Education Ministry

9.5 crore students provided food in March-August: Education Ministry (Source: Shutterstock)
Atul Krishna | Sep 14, 2020 - 3:11 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The ministry of education told Lok Sabha on Monday that more than 9.5 crore students were provided with Food Security Allowance (FSA) between the months of March and August amid the COVId-19 pandemic. The monsoon session of Parliament began today, September 14.

State governments have been providing FSA, in place of the mid-day meals, to ensure food security to all children. FSA includes the provision of foodgrains, pulses, oil, other cooking ingredients and even money.

The larger states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar have provided Food Security Allowance to the most number of students. Uttar Pradesh provided FSA for 1.13 crore students, West Bengal for 1.12 crore students and Bihar for 1.08 crore students, the ministry said.

COVID-19 And Schools

However, Goa is yet to provide FSA during the entire period of the COVID-19 induced lockdown to students as the state is awaiting “clearance...from their finance department”, the ministry revealed.

Rajasthan, meanwhile, is “providing food grains only” and Telangana is “providing food kits of 12 kg rice per person and Rs 1,500 per family to BPL families”, the ministry said.

The ministry of education, in reply to a question in Parliament, said: “Since, it is not possible to provide hot cooked meal under the prevailing circumstances (COVID-19), State Government and UT Administrations are advised to provide Food Security Allowance (FSA) comprising of foodgrains, pulses, oil etc (equivalent to cooking cost) to all eligible children till such time their schools are closed due to aforesaid pandemic.”

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