Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday urged the government to restart Mid Day Meals in schools, stopped during the Covid-19 pandemic when schools were shut down. Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Sonia Gandhi said in Hindi that children in the country have suffered the most during the pandemic as schools were the first to shut down and last to reopen.
She said when the schools were shuttered, the Mid Day Meals also stopped. “It was because of the Food Security Act and the Supreme Court order due to which dry ration was provided to people. But it is not an alternate to cooked, nutritious food,” she said. Stating that the Covid-19 pandemic was an “unprecedented crisis”, Sonia Gandhi said now that children were back in school, they needed nutritious food even more. “Mid Day Meals will also help in bringing back those children who have dropped out,” she said. She said since 2015-16, cases of malnutrition in children under five years of age has increased, and urged the government to make all efforts to control it. The Rae Bareli MP also urged the government to resume providing cooked food to children under three years, pregnant women and lactating mothers at Andangwadis under ICDS.