Millet-based snacks to be piloted in TN noon meal scheme from January

The State will also introduce greens/soups in two districts on a pilot basis, with funding support from the State Balanced Growth Fund, officials said at a review meeting on Friday

S. Madumathi, secretary of the Government Social Welfare and Nutritious Noon Meal Programme, said millet based snacks would be provided in Salem and Namakkal districts and greens/soups in Tiruchirapalli and Tiruvannmalai districts on a pilot basis from January 2021, with funding support from the State Balanced Growth Fund.

The State has been performing exceptionally well in the implementation of ‘Early Childhood Care and Education’ (ECCE), she said while delivering a special address at the State Development Policy Council’s review meeting on ECCE on Friday.

Ms. Madumathi noted that unlike other states, Anganwadi workers in Tamil Nadu are employed on a regular basis and are paid on a special time scale. They are paid adequately, and awards with citations and cash prizes are given to best performing Anganwadi workers, she added.

She also pointed out that the introduction of LKG/UKG classes on a pilot basis in Anganwadi Centres co-located within the government middle school premises has got good response and enrolment, especially during the COVID-19 period, has increased.

C. Ponnaiyan, Vice Chairman, State Development Policy Council noted that the State has been a pioneer in implementing child welfare programmes, well ahead of many Indian States and is doing very well in the implementation of ECCE.He reiterated the importance of ensuring that benefits reach people from poorer sections and SC/ ST communities and ensuring the removal of gender biases and pervasive patriarchal values and to realise the need for providing creches and day care, especially for children of poor rural and urban working women.

The State would continuously engage with academicians and experts to update the content and to ensure inclusiveness of ECCE, Mr. Ponnaiyan noted and also recommended imparting training to parents of toddlers through media about childcare and education.

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