The Telangana Government led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) took a historic step on Friday as it launched a breakfast scheme in schools up to the 10th standard, marking the first such initiative in the country.
Education Minister Sabith Indrareddy and Finance Minister T Harirsh Rao inaugurated the scheme at Raviryal Zilla Parishad High School (ZPHC) in Ranga Reddy district, while Municipal Administration Minister K T Rama Rao inaugurated it at West Marredpally Government High School. Respective Ministers, MLAs, MPs, and other public representatives joined in inaugurating the scheme across the state.
This scheme aims to cover 27,147 schools and benefit 23 lakh students in the state. Breakfast will be served to students 45 minutes before the school starts. In some schools in Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medchal-Malkajigiri, Sangareddy, and Mahabubnagar districts, breakfast will be provided by the Akshaya Patra Sansthan, while in the rest of the districts, it will be managed by mid-day meal workers, according to official sources.
The weekday breakfast menu includes: Monday: Idli Sambar/Wheat Rava Upma, Chutney, Tuesday: Puri, Aalu Kurma/Tomato Bath, Chutney, Wednesday: Upma, Sambar/Khichdi, Chutney, Thursday: Millet Idli, Sambar/Pongal, Sambar, Friday: Uggani/Poha/Millet Idli, Chutney/Kichidi, Chutney
Saturday: Pongal, Sambar/Veg Palav, Raita/Aalu Kurma.
The breakfast scheme in government schools was initially introduced in Tamil Nadu. Telangana becomes the second state to implement this scheme. A team of IAS officers from Telangana studied the scheme in Tamil Nadu. While Tamil Nadu provides breakfast to students of classes 1-5, Telangana has decided to extend this benefit to all students in classes 1-10.
In addition, the state government is also providing midday meals to students in classes 9 and 10 using its own funds. Since last year, they have been serving Ragi Java mixed with jaggery and providing free snacks during special classes for tenth-grade students, sources added.