Bhubaneswar: In a major step towards the inclusion of women Self Help Groups (SHGs), the State Government on Wednesday approved the Guildeline for Management of Mid-Day Meal (MDM) in schools by WSHGs. In a letter, the School and Mass Education Department has directed the State Nodal Officer, MDM to communicate the guidelines and take appropriate action for its implementation.
The district collectors have been asked for provisioning of services and procurement of goods through SHGs besides convergence of Mission Shakti with different departments. The Cabinet in its on May 29 this year, approved provisioning of services and procurement of goods relating to 10 Departments through women SHGs.
As per the decision, School and Mass Education Department will rope in women SHGs for supply of pre-school uniforms to anganwadi centres besides preparation and supply of Mid-day Meal. They will also be engaged as transport agents of rice for MDM. Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department would engage them for paddy procurement operations.
“With a view to ensuring active involvement of Women SHGs and freeing teachers from MDM work, it is felt necessary to bring about a detailed guideline encompassing WSHG selection, their roles and responsibilities and also of the Headmaster and Central Kitchens,” the letter stated.
It has been decided that robust and viable WSHGs would be handed over MDM management from SMC in a phased manner. Initially schools with more than 100 students would be handed over to WSHGs. The District Education Officer shall provide the list of schools having more than 100 students to the DSWO to facilitate selection of suitable WSHGs.
“The schools which are covered by Central Kitchen Agencies shall not be entrusted to WSHGs. Selection of WSHG for MDM management shall be done by Collectors as per the rules of Directorate, Mission Shakti to be intimated to the districts,” the letter added.