The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) is looking forward to coming in terms with Akshaya Patra Foundation, a widely known not-for-profit organization, to support their noble causes. The midday meal program by Akshaya Patra Foundation provides free meals to the school children belonging to underprivileged section of society.
At present, VMC provides food prepared by DWCRA women to school children. There have been several complaints over the insufficient allocation of budget for the scheme and the poor quality of food which has often led to students skipping meals.
Akshaya Patra Foundation team met the VMC Commissioner; G. Veerapandian and Krishna District Collector Babu A. A comprehensive report on the project covering the cost per meal, cooking services, transportation facility and the other aspects was to be undertaken. Mr. Babu asked the foundation to prepare the report analyzing these areas.
A senior VMC official said,“We want Akshaya Patra to come up with a detailed report. They said it would be financially viable for them if 50,000 students were supplied midday meals a day as against the existing 23,000 students in the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation limits. Zilla parishad and aided schools can be included to work out the cost factor, but all such decisions will be taken after they [the NGO] submits the report.”
Every year the VMC spends around Rs. 2 crore to support and implement the midday meal program. The Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) spends Rs. 4.60 paisa per primary school student and Rs. 6.38 paisa for a high school student. Over 23,000 students attend the municipal and government schools in the city. 100 grams of food is provided to a primary school student and 150 grams is supplied to a high school student. Boiled eggs are included in the menu at least twice a week.