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Odisha government released an SOP to be duly followed for restarting the Mid-Day Meal programme

Bhubaneswar22/3/22:Odisha government released an SOP to be duly followed for restarting the Mid-Day Meal programme at schools in the State from April this year.

The State School and Mass Education department has shot a letter to the Collectors of all districts informing about the decision to restart serving cooked meals to students of class I to VIII under the PM Poshan scheme from April 2022 following Covid-19 guidelines.

The government has asked the district level authorities to ensure the following preparedness and precautions are taken beforehand by school management authorities/Central Kitchen Agencies before the commencement of the MDM programme from April 2022.

i) Sanitization of the kitchen sheds

ii) Sanitization and functioning of Handwash Stations and toilets

iii) Sanitization of utensils and storage containers

iv) Checking the edibility of the available MDM ingredients

It may be strictly ensured that the message of Edibility Test of the available MDM ingredients is carried out in every school by the Head Master to avoid any MDM mishap or food poisoning. This is to be verified and ensured by CRCCs and BEOs in the field.

v) Disposal of damaged MDM stock

Headmasters should furnish a damaged report, duly verified and confirmed by the concerned CRCC, to the BEO.

vi) Ensure supervision and monitoring

The DEOs, BEOs, and CRCCs should utilize the services of CCHs much before commencement of cooking of hot cooked meal to ensure safety in Mid-day Meal cooking and serving. They should also make random checks of Mid-day Meal ingredients before the days of serving meals to prevent any untoward incidents.

vii) Procurement of raw materials under COVID-19 guidelines

viii) Ensure personal hygiene of Cook-cum-Helpers (CCHs)

CCHs should not be allowed to come to school if he/she is suffering from cough, fever and sneezing

ix) Cleanliness and sanitation in kitchen and surroundings areas

xi) Distribution/serving of hot cooked meal

The distribution of hot cooked meal to the school children will need to be done in a staggered manner (from smaller class to bigger class) over a couple of hours in order to adhere to the social distancing norms. However, it is advisable to encourage open-air seating with social distancing. In case the meals are served in open spaces/dining halls, necessary markings should be done to guide the children on the seating arrangement.

xii) Monitoring of the Mid-day Meal

School Management Committee/ Parents Teacher Associations should be encouraged to be present during the serving of hot cooked meal to ensure adherence to the COVID-19 protocols amongst the teachers, Cook- cum-Helpers, WSHGs and the school children.

xiii) Distribution of hot cooked meal by Central Kitchen/NGOs

It must be ensured that the agreement between Mid Day Meal and the above mentioned Central Kitchen partners is renewed and up to date before April 2022. The DEOs shall make a visit to the Central Kitchen site in order to assure the re-functioning of Central Kitchen to provide hot cooked meals to the children

xiv) Weekly Iron Folic Acid (IFA) Supplementations (WIFS) programme in schools

All COVID protocols must be adhered to during the receipt and distribution of IFA tablets. Children should be given IFA tablets (Pink tablet for class-IV and Blue tablet for class VI-X ) every Monday in their respective classrooms after having hot cooked meal and by adhering to COVID protocols of social distancing. The tablets must be administered under the supervision of the class teachers. The tablets should not be given to children under any medication.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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