Bhubaneswar:14/6/23: Reinforcing the Odisha government’s commitment to providing quality Midday Meal (MDM), Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday disbursed an amount of Rs 117.73 crore as financial assistance for the cook-cum-helpers working in schools across the state.
The Chief Minister has also announced financial assistance of Rs 500 to each cook-cum-helper for the purchase of saree, with the objective of promoting professionalism and a cohesive work environment.
According to the CMO, Rs 117.73 crore has been sanctioned as financial assistance and an allowance of Rs. 5.45 crores for sarees has been disbursed directly to the bank accounts of 1.09 lakh Cook-Cum-Helpers in the state.
The Odisha CM also interacted with Cook-cum-Helpers at Lok Seva Bhawan today as part of the orientation program under Midday Meal Scheme.
Speaking on the occasion , Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the role of the mid-day meal scheme is very important for education. Cook-Cum-Helpers are carrying this major responsibility.
“More than 45 lakh children are studying in more than 50 thousand schools. Like mothers, you have taken the responsibility of feeding these children and the entire society is indebted to you all,” said the Chief Minister.
Expressing that the Midday Meal program is going on through 4730 Mission Shakti groups, the Chief Minister said that like all other responsibilities, they are fulfilling this responsibility well. Commenting that the repute of Mission Shakti is increasing day by day, the Chief Minister said that efforts will continue to empower women through Mission Shakti.
Stating that the Cook-Cum-Helpers have been trained in food and hygiene, the Chief Minister hoped that they would maintain hygiene and food safety in the mid-day meals
On this occasion, School and Mass Education Minister Sudam Marndi highlighted the mid-day meal program in the state. He said that the mid-day meal program will play an important role in eliminating absenteeism and malnutrition in schools.
Ashwathy S, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary of School and Mass Education Department. Delivered the welcome speech and vote of thanks was given by the Nodal Officer of the Mid-day Meal program.
It is worth noting that 45.5o lakh students from Class I to VIII are benefiting in 50,862 schools in the state. 1.09 lakh Cook-Cum-Helpersof 4730 Mission Shakti groups are involved in the preparation of the MDM. Earlier in 2017-18, they were sanctioned an allowance Rs 250 per person for sarees.
In-a-first, the S&ME Department has organised training programmes for 1.09 lakh cook-cum-helpers from across the state, focusing on workplace hygiene, dietary diversification & the preparation of healthy recipes for school children.
The initiative will have a positive impact on 45.50 lakh students across 50,862 government & government aided schools and play a crucial role in addressing malnutrition and improving school attendance rates throughout the state.