Tirupati: ISKCON Food Relief Foundation (IFRF) was offered to take up the responsibility of the implementation of mid-day meal scheme under which the government is providing free food to schoolchildren in Kuppam Assembly constituency.Kuppam Area Development Authority (KADA)

special officer Syam Prasad proposed to hand over the providing of mid-day meal to IFRF for better management of the scheme for the benefit of the State-run school in the Kuppam constituency represented by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu in the
Assembly.

As Collector Siddharth Jain also approved the move sent through the district education department, a building on a 40 cent site at Thimisi village in Santhipuram mandal was also earmarked for allotment to IFRF to locate its office including its staff, kitchen and vehicles for providing mid-day meal to the schoolchildren in three mandals including Kuppam, Santhipuram and Ramakuppam mandal in the constituency.

Speaking to The Hans India, Madhugopal Haridoss, head of IFRF, here confirmed KADA offering to IFRF, which he said was sent to the management for final approval for taking up the mid-day meal scheme in Kuppam as it involves labourious efforts and also huge cost.

At present, he said IFRF was implementing the mid-day meal scheme in 10 mandals including six in Tirupati and four in Chinnagottikallu covering a total of about 50,000 students studying in the government primary, upper-primary and high schools.

As the government would provide only ingredients like rice, vegetable and pulses to The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) for the mid-day meal, the latter has to spend at least Rs 1.6 paise extra on each student mainly due to the increase in red gram price.

The other expenses like staff salary, vehicle maintenance for transport of the meals to the schools and other miscellaneous expenses for executing the scheme would also be borne by ISKCON’s IFRF.

Interestingly, the ISKCON was offered to take one more area for implementation of the mid-day meal scheme even as the spiritual organisation facing criticism from some quarters on the quality of the meals being provided by it. The critics are insisting on including egg in the mid-day meal scheme menu and also improve the quality of rice.

Madhugopal said that the quality of rice depends on the supply of rice provided to them by the Civil Supplies department, which is not up to the mark.It is not in our hands but we are taking steps to get quality rice from the civil supplies godown,” he said. He said that they have included a chikki or a banana daily for the students to enrich the nutrient value of the meals provided to the students, instead of egg. He said ISKCON will resume supply of butter milk which was stopped owing to fund crunch.