The state government has decided to shut down the Annapurna Milk Scheme for school children in the coming months because of execution problems and budget constraints.
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CM Ashok Gehlot had said during the assembly session that the government would review the scheme’s viability. Recently, the midday meal department reviewed the scheme and proposed to end it.

Midday meal commissioner Bhanwar Lal said, “We have proposed to stop the scheme and are trying to work out an alternative plan, which can be a fruit or something else. However, it is yet to be approved by the government.”

There have been many demands by the government teaching fraternity to shut down the scheme as it was time consuming for them.

Usha Jain (name changed), a government teacher in Jaipur said, “In big schools with hundreds of children, we have to boil the milk, cool it down and then serve it. It consumes motre than an hour. The students would wash their utensils after the milk was served. It was time consuming and affecting studies.”

This year, the total budget for Annapurna Milk scheme was Rs 745 crore. There is, however, no money provisions for sugar as it was considered to be lowering the nutrients of milk.

A senior government official said, “There has been many complaints about the money for sugar to arranged. As it wasn’t mentioned in the scheme, it became difficult to sanction budget which ultimately became a burden on the teaching staff as without sugar children will not drink milk.”

Moreover, there was little time difference between milk serving and lunch due to which many students complained of uneasiness. After considering many viewpoints, government is toying with the idea of cancelling the scheme.

Last month, 14 of our dairy farms in Maine, as well as dozens of dairy farms across northern New England, got an unexpected and disappointing notice from Danone of North America saying that they were discontinuing their contracts with our organic dairy farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and elsewhere.

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