With an objective of improving the nutritional status of children, the Maharashtra government has launched a pilot project under which each primary school student in the state will be given 600 grams of skimmed milk powder as a health supplement for three months. According to a government resolution issued by the School Education and Sports department, each student of class 1 to class 8 would be given three packets of skimmed milk powder, of 200 grams each, for three months. The pilot project will be monitored by a committee headed by the additional chief secretary, School Education Department and the director of primary education would be the coordinating officer.
However, schools in Mumbai will not be covered under the pilot project as they are already covered by a Central government nutrition programme. Over one crore students will be benefited with this scheme as the state has 1.18 crore students studying in 1,06,527 primary schools (from class 1 to class 8) - as per the Economic Survey of Maharashtra for 2017-18. According to reports, a particular day will be designated to distribute skimmed milk powder in presence of the management committee. The day will be called as 'skimmed milk powder distribution day'.
The pilot project has been started after studying the 'ksheera bhagya yojana' of Karnataka. Under this scheme, state government, in collaboration with dairy unions and Karnataka's Department of Primary and Secondary Education and Department of Women and Child Development, distributes milk is to school and anganawadi children. The pilot project was launched in Maharashtra after government observed the surplus production of milk in the state. The government had made an announcement in this regard in the Legislative Assembly on July 10.