Surat, Nov 18: State Minister of Environment and Tribal Welfare Mangubhai Patel said the Gujarat government will provide a flavoured-milk pouch daily to 13,272 tribal school children of Ucchal taluka at free of cost.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 'Doodh-Sanjivini Yojana' at a function held at Ucchal on Monday, Nov 17.
Mr Patel said as per the scheme, the state government would provide 200 ml pouch of 'Sumul' brand's flavoured milk to children of 84 primary and five ashramshala schools of Ucchal taluka. The milk pouch would be distributed apart from the mid-day meal scheme.
The milk will be delivered from Sumul's chilling centre at Ucchal everyday except holidays. This year, milk will be supplied for 139 days and the state government will pay Rs 97 lakh to Sumul Dairy as per Rs 4.90 per pouch, the Minister added.
''The project is planned under 'Van-Bhandu Kalyan Yojana', while amount is paid under New Gujarat Pattern Yojana. Last year, the Chief Minister initiated the scheme in two talukas of Banaskantha district, with the support of Banas Dairy. This year, it is being started at Kawant (Chotta Udaipur) and Ucchal,'' Surendra Modi, project administrator, said.
He said the project will be reviewed each year and necessary changes will be made before implementing the yojana next year. Other tribal talukas will be covered under the scheme, too. Next year, the project will be initiated in Panchmahal and Dahod. It is done to ensure better physical growth of tribal children besides education.
''Tribal children are deprived of proper nutrition and through this initiative, the government wants to raise the physical standards of the children. Mid-day meal can support these children but they need some more nutrition as they had to face more difficulties (coming to school by walking or limited diet) than urban school kids,'' Mr Modi added.