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The MGR Nutritious Meal Programme was introduced from 1-7-1982, in Child Welfare Centres in rural areas for pre-school children in the age group of 2 to 5 years and for primary school children of 5 to 9 years of age (studying in classes 1-5). Subsequently, this scheme was extended to the nutritious meal centres in urban areas from 15-9-82 onwards. From 15-9-84 onwards this scheme was further extended to the school students of 10 to 15 years of age (students studying in classes VI Std to X Std). Old Age Pensioners are also benefited under this scheme.

The objects of this scheme are imparting pre-school education to the children of 2 to 5 years of age to remove mal-nutrition and to improve the strength of the school children. Food commodities (rice, dhal and oil) required for nutritious meal served at the Nutritious Meal Centres / Child Welfare Centres are supplied by the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation. The Contractors are selected under open tender system for each district for the supply of eggs. Double Fortified Salt is supplied in seven districts at present and Tamil Nadu Salt Corporation supplies Iron Fortified Salt in other districts. A decision will be taken to supply Iodised Salt or Double Fortified Salt to all the districts under open tender system. A grant of 18 paise per beneficiary is paid towards purchase of vegetables (9 paise), condiments (3 paise), fuel (5.5 paise) and salt (0.5 paise). It has been announced to increase this rate from 18 paise to 23 paise per day per head.

From 3-6-89, one boiled egg was supplied to the children with nutritious meal once in a fortnight. From 1-6-98 onwards one boiled egg is supplied to the children once in a week. Instead of TAPCO, the Department of Animal Husbandry is supervising the quality of the eggs supplied by the contractors. District Level and Block Level Committees have been constituted to supervise the proper implementation of the schemes of supply of nutritious meal and supply of eggs. There are about 73 lakh beneficiaries including children in Child Welfare Centres and school children up to the age of 15 years who are benefited under this scheme. Necessary orders have been issued by the Government for streamlining the repairs and maintenance of Nutritious Meal Centres and Child Welfare Centres through the Heads of Department concerned. Accordingly, the respective local bodies or Government Departments who are the owners of the Nutritious Meal Centres/Child Welfare Centre buildings are vested with the responsibility to carry out the repairs and the maintenance of work getting budgetary support from their administrative departments concerned.

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