The midday meal Program was launched from the village of Jasol, in Barmer. It provides cooked food for 40,000 children of government schools, belonging to classes 1 to 10. Four major towns of the Barmer district namely Balotra, Barmer, Samdari and Siwana benefit from this. The Foundation runs a similar program in Jaisalmer.
The midday meals contribute significantly towards healthy development of the children. The food is wholesome and nutritious and consists of a variety of dishes to suit the local palate.
Four centralized kitchens have been constructed in the district region. These kitchens are equipped with modern infrastructure that ensures that food is cooked hygienically and speedily. There is an organiser, head cook, 10 assistant cooks and five cleaners for each kitchen. The program draws people from within the community, thus generating employment. Others living around also actively participate. The food is distributed across the region in motor vehicles. This arrangement ensures timely delivery of the much-awaited meals. Each vehicle carries meals for approximately 2,500 to 3,500 children.
Several mid-day meal programs run by the Rajasthan government have proven inadequate. A study conducted by the Centre for Development Economics of the Delhi School of Economics enumerates the defects of such programs. The list includes poor quality food, rudimentary kitchen infrastructure, faulty management and inadequate fund allocation.
Our project follows an innovative model in answer to these shortcomings. Optimal utilization of resources and technology assist in the functioning of a cost effective program. The running costs come to Rs. 6 per child.