The dispute over whether eggs belong to the vegetarian group or the non-vegetarian category goes long back. In one such incident, Tejaswini, wife of former Union Minister late Ananth Kumar, has raised objections over the serving of eggs in school. She believes the mid-day meal diet should be entirely vegetarian.
Tejaswini, who is the owner of Adamya Chetana, a facility that prepares meals for school kids, said eggs fall into the category of non-vegetarian food.
She tweeted asking why the Karnataka government had decided to give eggs in mid-day meal.? It is not as if they are the only source of nutrition. Moreover, she believes that the practice is exclusionary to the students who are vegetarians, and no policy should be designed as such that it is biassed to some of the students.
Her tweet received many replies. A Group of nutritionists, activists, researchers, doctors, and citizens of Karnataka wrote to Chief Secretary Vandana Sharma on Tuesday demanding a nutritional diet.
The concerned people have supported the authorities’ decision to include eggs in the diet. The have urged the Chief Secretary to take the necessary steps to ascertain that the nutritional entitlements of the schoolchildren under the National Food Security Act 2013 are met to. They said in the letter to CS that the inclusion of eggs in the mid-day meal has been an ongoing demand of schoolchildren and their parents. It is prohibited under the revised Guidelines 2017 in the Mid Day Meal Scheme to propagate one’s own religious practices. No one should discriminate in any manner on the basis of religion, caste or creed they said. They urged that eggs be served under the midday meal program to class 9 and class 10 students as well, and the program is not to be used for propagation of any religious practice.
Tejaswini also retorted, saying she has worked with hundreds of government school teachers and students with respect to mid-day meals for around 20 years. She further commented that if the government wanted to serve eggs, it should be like a take-home ration along with other food and fruits or chikkis to non-egg eaters.