A wholesome thoughts, they are saying, in a wholesome physique. There is a detailed relationship between schooling and diet. Now the federal authorities has launched a scheme to supply mid-day meals in state main colleges in Islamabad. Initially, the programme will cowl 100 colleges, and later it will likely be launched in all colleges. NGOs are helping the federal government within the college lunch programme.
Considering that an estimated 20 million youngsters within the 5-15 age group are out of faculty within the nation, the varsity lunch scheme will markedly scale back the variety of college drop-outs, and allow increasingly younger ones to pursue schooling. Many youngsters from poor households undergo from problems with stunting and diet. Undernourishment additionally impacts their psychological development. There are quite a few advantages of offering free meals at college. Those who for some motive don’t eat breakfast at house will get a healthful meal at college. The authorities ought to be certain that foodstuffs used for kids’s lunch are of excellent high quality, meals are cooked and served in a hygienic ambiance, and washing arms earlier than consuming needs to be made obligatory as it’s going to inculcate habits of cleanliness in younger ones. Further, since youngsters from totally different social backgrounds will likely be consuming collectively, it’s going to promote brotherhood and nationwide cohesion.
There is the necessity to develop the noon meal programme everywhere in the nation, particularly in areas the place undernourishment and poverty ranges are excessive. As the varsity drop-out charge is excessive in most areas, noon meals will carry college students again to varsities. Free noon meals are already being offered at colleges in some areas of Punjab province. The authorities ought to preserve a vigilant eye on how the funds allotted for varsity lunch are being utilised and the standard of meals objects procured from the market. The system of periodic appraisal needs to be instituted to see the progress or in any other case of the welfare programme. The noon meal scheme is being run efficiently in a number of nations of the world, whose workings can information different nations, together with Pakistan, now adopting the scheme.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2022.