HRD ministry to introduce Tithi Bhojan in Schools in Mid Day Meal scheme
The Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister has announced its decision to introduce the practice of ‘Tithi Bhojan’ as a part of the Mid Day Meal scheme. The HRD Minister headed a meeting of the Empowered Committee on Mid Day Meal Scheme to review the functioning of the Mid Day Meal scheme. The meeting consisted of representatives of State Governments, Food and Nutrition experts and senior officers of the Central Government. The Committee was formed last year.
Decisions of the Committee
The committee made the following decision during its meeting:-
- The members agreed to strengthen the monitoring system of the scheme
- Ensure greater community participation in the execution of the Scheme through Tithi Bhojan
- Introduce and implement a protocol for standards in food safety and testing, from 2015, to ensure the quality of the meal and compliance with appropriate nutrition standards
- Focus on establishing a community participatory model and use that to act as a system of checks and balance on the implementation of themid day meal scheme
- Creation of an open forum on the Mid Day Meal scheme’s website so that people’s opinion of the scheme may be shared online. Complaints can also be made on the forum.
- Crucial role for the community in checking quality of ingredients and preventing contamination
- Mandatory checking of meals at kitchen level
Some of the features of Tithi Bhojan are:-
- Tithi Bhojan was first successfully implemented in Gujarat, and will now be replicated across the country
- It seeks to involve the members of the community in the effort to provide nutritious and healthy food to the children
- The members of the community may contribute/sponsor either utensils or food on special occasions/festivals. This is completely voluntary, and the people in the community may contribute food items supplementary to the mid day already being provided like sweet, namkeen or sprouts.
- Greater participation and involvement of religious and charitable institutions is also being promoted