Thursday, 3 April 2014


Jaipur, April 2: The first two-day training workshop in a series of training programmes on cleanliness and nutritive elements in midday meals prepared by over 1 lakh cooks and helpers began at the Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) campus here today. The series is aimed at ensuring preparation of high-quality food material under the Rajasthan Government’s midday meals programme.

A total of 15 such training programmes will be organised from April 2 to May 15, 2014 for as many as 747 candidates selected from each Panchayat Samiti of all districts in the state. The trainees in turn will provide training at the block level after returning to their native places.

Rajasthan is the first state in the country where an ambitious initiative has been taken for training of the tail-end workers preparing the midday meals. The programme will lead to prevention of diseases caused by malnutrition and lack of nutritive elements and help in the preparation of clean, hygienic and fortified food.

The series of training workshops is being organised jointly by the State Government’s Midday Meals Programme and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), New Delhi. The target groups in the programme are cooks, helpers, teachers and block-level officers.

The Rajasthan State Livelihood Mission Chairman and former Chief Secretary, Mr. M.L. Mehta, presiding over the event, said this important programme initiated by the welfare government would yield positive results and make a new history in the field of midday meals.

The Midday Meals Project Director, Mr. Badri Narain, said the 1.20 lakh cooks and helpers comprised as many as 89 per cent women belonging to economically weaker sections. The midday meals are served to 78 lakh children in 85,000 schools across the state.

Mr. Narain pointed out that the State Government had decided to launch training for cooks and helpers in view of complaints received about the quality and maintenance of midday meals.

The IIHMR Director, Dr. S.D. Gupta, said the series of training workshops would prove to be a milestone in preventing diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and infections and maintain hygiene of food served to children. He said elements such as fortified flour and milk containing enhanced quantities of Vitamin A and D and iron and folic acid would be a boon for midday meals.

Former civil servant, Mr. Rajendra Bhanawat, who was associated with the midday meals programme since its beginning as the Collector of Baran district, said since the project would build a secure future for children, it should be implemented with a clean intention.

The training programme and training module prepared by the Professor for Rural Management, Dr. Gautam Sadhu, Dr. Tanjul Saxena and Mr. Shirish Harsh was released on the occasion.

The IIHMR Food Fortification Project Director, Dr. R.S. Rathore, Mr. Sudeep Sharma, Mr. Rajiv Baghel, Dr. Ranjita and Mr. Raj Kapoor Raghav were among those present on the occasion.

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