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Grants for midday meal scheme sought

Members of the district unit of the Karnataka Rajya Akshara Dasoha Naukarara Sangha, affiliated to the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), staged a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on Thursday demanding that the Union government increase grants for midday meal scheme.

Addressing the protesters here, U. Das Bhandary, president of the sangha, said that when the scheme was started in the State in 2001-02, it had provided employment to about 1.2 women, including Dalits and widows. But after the State government handed over the midday meal scheme to some religious organisations in some districts, over 15,000 women lost their jobs.

Though the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development was aware of these issues, it was planning to start centralised cooking for the midday meal scheme.

This would lead to thousands of women working as cooks under the scheme losing their jobs.

Since the Union government had reduced grants for the scheme in 2009, the women working under the scheme were getting reduced pay. Hence, the Union government should at least provide the grants, which had been withdrawn by it earlier.

Source: The Hindu

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