PETA praises Chauhan for his ‘progressive stand’
While Chauhan may be under fire for shutting down the proposal to reintroduce eggs in midday meals in his state, the PETA is all praises for his 'healthy' decision. PETA which is the prominent voice against animal cruelty called this step as a 'compassionate' one. While PETA saw this move as progressive, Chauhan's own cabinet colleague urged people to add fish to their diet.
In 2007, Shivraj Chouhan launched project 'Shaktiman' in Kesala block of the Hoshangabad district along with Mukesh Khanna, the actor behind the TV series. The project strived at checking malnutrition in tribal areas of Madhya Pradesh. Under this scheme, the tribal children were served eggs and potatoes and showed good results.
The Shaktiman project was replaced by the Atal Bal Arogya Evam Poshan Mission to bring about a systematic reduction in child malnutrition in 2010. Under this scheme, eggs were removed from the midday meals of all anganwadi children in Madhya Pradesh. Bananas and milk were given as substitutes for eggs, which the CM felt had the same nutritional value.
CM of Madhya Pradesh killed the proposal to include eggs again in the Mid-Day Meal programme in Anganwadis. This proposal was put forward for the districts of Alirajpur, Mandla and Hoshangabad by the Women and Child Development Department under the Integrated Child Development Scheme. It is being alleged that the CM took this decision due to the mounting pressure from the Jain community.
Anil Badkul the spokesperson for the Digambar Jain Mahasamiti gave the cry of "Bachcho ko bachana hai, andon ko bachana hai", reasoning that children become insensitive when they consume eggs.
Shivraj Chauhan's policy to remove eggs from the meal of tribal children in 3 districts has been widely criticised by the Integrated Child Development Services. Their project coordinator Sanjeev Shrivastava was of the opinion that in terms of nutritional value "milk and bananas do not match up to eggs".
The debate is all the more important in MP because almost 51% of children under 5 are underweight.