Egg in mid-day meal

January 30, 2007

By Praneshachar

For the past week, everyday we are hearing and reading in the news about serving eggs as a part of midday meals in government schools (Bisi Oota). While some are supporting the serving of eggs, some are opposing the same saying that it should be Milk or Banana. Children are most sensitive and susceptible to the environment. A food product, which is palatable to everyone should be introduced.

If you go into this controversial subject (which has hurt the sentiments of some people), you can see religious heads and politicians, famous individuals and common man alike airing their views. And the matter is not resolved yet.

It is a typical case where we can see how our government works. When there are enough problems on hand to be solved, why should these ministers indulge in raking up such non-issues which can not be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction? When wholesome vegetarian fare is being served to our children why add eggs to the menu? The idea of serving eggs may be from politicians with a sinister design of improving poultry business.

Not long ago, Avian influenza struck India. India’s poultry industry braced for massive losses after the detection of the deadly H5N1 bird flu strain. Chicken and eggs were off the menu in most restaurants. Infections of humans, mostly through contact with infected poultry, resulted in symptoms typical of common human influenza — fever, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches — to eye infections, pneumonia, severe respiratory diseases and other life-threatening complications. Commonsense tells us that when serving food for a mass of people, one needs to serve food that can be eaten by one and all.

The other day, I was hearing an interesting take on this topic by half a dozen students. After much discussion they finally agreed that as there are students from all walks of life it was not correct to serve eggs in the Bisi Oota Programme. They felt it was easier for a person to abstain from eating eggs than forcibly eating them. Another felt that some kids in whose homes eggs were prohibited might be tempted when his/ her friends was served one. In another situation, children who did not eat eggs would find it difficult to have their lunch with students who preferred eggs. A young chap opined serving bananas instead of eggs helped maintain uniformity when it came to serving food just like school uniforms that helped maintain uniformity when it came to wearing dresses. Another noted that in any social gathering, the food provided was vegetarian so that everyone could have it.

It was really nice to hear their conversation from the budding citizens. When youngsters can understand and analyze an issue so well, why can’t the elders, especially the politicians and concerned authorities think likewise? Maybe the issue will be resolved only when students will go and stand in the hot sun carrying placards on MG Road or near Cubbon Park making human chain. It is really a pity the government machinery is wasting a lot of time on such non-issues.

In case eggs ARE introduced in the mid day meal, there is another side to it. Officials might cook up their own numbers (of eggs served) and might give room for malpractices thus allowing funds to dwindle. And imagine the plight of the person/s trying to verify into the (possible) ‘Poultry Scam’! Officials might have to go to each school and each student and ask: Motte thinthya? (Do you eat eggs?) And some naughty fellows might just want to play a prank. The report will be flawed…. I shudder to think further because it will all be yet another case of the taxpayer’s money flowing down the drain.

A related article appeared in ‘Prajavani’.

(Additional inputs from RK)

13 Responses to “Egg in mid-day meal”

  1. M O H A N Says:

    Ha ha ha… a egg scam in making!!! Its quite predictable.

    Offcourse we have basavaraj horatti , the minister in charge who with great pomp was announcing on TV that a poll was done among children and 60 odd % wanted Eggs and so they are planning to give it.

    Great Mr horatti – from when did kids have reasoning,logic to decide things for themselves? They can be manipulated quite easily.

    The point here is kids need uniformity of thoughts in education, let them follow what their elders/parents tell them. Leave out this Bisi oota and concentrate on studies with existing oota…that would the milestone to cover i guess.


  2. Reminds me that Omlete & Aluminium tatte article here.
    However the egg vaasane is in-tolerable, so my vote for haalu🙂
    paapa bahujana priya teachers na gathi enu ? tax haNada gathi allirali….
    students will be imposed/instigated to eat this without being a choice, so idu mostly work out aagalla, anyway idella nanna anisike which is very very purely personallu🙂

  3. usha Says:

    Defenite Egg scam pranesh sir… Halu…kooda impure neer halu kottu….i think bananna is the only safe option.. but transportaion problems and shelf life of fruits … transparency illandre yen madidroo thondrene…ghora kaliyuga😦

    Humpty dumpty sat on the wall(here ministers) gnapaka barutte.

  4. Vani Says:

    Pranesh avare,

    Congratulations on your first post.

    Yes, a “Poultry Scam” in the making. In the guise of the “Bisi Oota” Scheme, some neta’s relative or friend or simply someone who has taken care of the neta’s “interests” wants to make a quick buck.

    Our ministers are very famous for wasting resources this way. And you mentioned Common Sense, it is very uncommon in our Dear Netas!

    Very good post.


  5. yaava tara aagide andre, en oLLE kelsa maadtheeni andru jana namballa paapa.
    huli bantu huli kathe aagide…!😉

  6. praneshachar Says:

    Thanks all for the comments
    Bellur
    you had done a wonderful work a very good get up and I must confess the additional inputs are more informative and thought provking and made the post very opt thanks for the same it would have be right if it was posted in joint names any how thnks once again for the nice editing any how you are from the field of journalism and roots are there
    bye

  7. rk Says:

    pranesh sir,
    please write more such wonderful articles. the article by itself was really good. i just added a bit here and there, nothing more.
    thanks for contributing to RwB. continue the good work.🙂

  8. ಧೀರೇಂದ್ರ ಗೋಪಾಲ್ Says:

    This reminds me of a story in the few FIRST issues of TINKLE
    maybe 20+ years back .
    There was this Sardarji who owned a Fish stall and had a display board in front of his shop which was Blank .
    One of the customer suggested Sardarji ‘Why dont you use the board to announce what you are selling’
    The sardar wrote on the board ‘Fresh Fish Sold here’.
    Another customer questioned ‘Everyone knows Fish is sold fresh , Do you sell Stale Fish??’
    The Sardar erased ‘Fresh’ and made it as ‘Fish Sold here’.
    Another customer who walked in was amused and told Sardar
    ‘Everyone would know that you sell Fish by its smell ..you dont need a board’. Sardar promptly erased everything.

    Finally a customer who walked in made fun of Sardar for not using the board to announce his trade.

    The same thing is happening with State Govt announcing egg.
    people suggested ‘Milk’,Banana , apple and finally someone in Churumuri suggested ‘Whiskey’

  9. barioLu Says:

    Children in Tamil Nadu schools after 1982 were reported to be healthier after eggs were introduced in mid-day meals.

    As for the egg scam, will there be no scam in supplying milk or bananas? No government tender passes without bribes. That is granted. Supply eggs or eye balls there will be kick backs. only those that are exposed become scams. No need to cry hoarse only for the sake of opposing eggs.

    Improving business is not a sinister design of governments. Improving business is the purpose of governments.

    Officials cooking up numbers and funds dwindling? It is already happening with chitranna, upittu and whatever is being served now.

    IF kids can have logic to decide for themselves (that was overheard), assuming they will play pranks in order to waste taxpayer money defies that logic.

    If some students dont want to eat eggs let them not. If they are TEMPTED let them. It is not going to kill them. Only make their world view broader.

  10. M O H A N Says:

    @bariolu,

    You got the point WRONG on kids logic aint good and wastes tax payers money. What YOU need to understand is they are not fully grown up to decide whats good or bad at that age. As you rightly point out they are still playing pranks and is called childishness!

    An egg has never killed anybody, try eating protien rich human aborted feotuses – get them fed to relatives et all before you try to put such words dear. Obviously thats not permitted legally may be it also gives a borader view Tsk!

    Scams all around is common factor though.

  11. praneshachar Says:

    thanks all for driving the arguments forcibly eitherway
    one more thing if the distribution is entirely given to some very committed NGO’s who are doing a wonderful work it will happen. the bisioota for amnyschools are supplied from some of them like AdayammaChetana trust, ISCKON, sai trust etc., the quality of food given is simply superb you must taste to relish. ( adyamaya chetana is serving a lots of schools in bangalore south and also started to north etc., food is hygenically prepared and served and suplied at schools on time)
    take the real issues raised and not the negatives if you want to find problem with everything yes there is no end. govt. must do something which is universally accepted and should not create the controversies by their acts and decisions. the real purpose of the scheme is to be achieved providing the good food to school children majority of them who are deprived of the same due to their poorneconomic conditions.
    scam etc. are there but try to reduce the scope rathen on giving opportunities for the same on all the things where scope is much more and agencies involved are too many

  12. praneshachar Says:

    kolimotte kaibidi, kandammagalannu kapadi
    an article published in Prajavani on 3rd feb.2007 written by
    Dr.Vijayalakshmi Balekundri perception of professional in the field of medicine worth reading.

  13. praneshachar Says:

    Bellur
    can you give link to this article please see it is on page 6 of prajavani dt.3.2.2007
    if you can do that It will be great.
    all the best have a good day


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