Explained: What's CM Breakfast Scheme That MK Stalin Has Expanded, How Has The Scheme Performed So Far?

The CM Breakfast Scheme in Tamil Nadu was initially launched last year for 1,545 government primary schools, but has now been expanded to 31,000 schools across the state.

Tamil Nadu CM having a meal with students at a school

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Friday launched the expanded formed of the state government's breakfast scheme for government schools. 

Stalin launched the expansion at a school at Tirukkuvalai in Nagapattinam district. He served food to students to mark the launch.

Video from the launch showed Stalin sitting on the floor and eating the meal with the children.

The scheme was initially launched last year for 1,545 government primary schools, but has now been expanded to 31,000 schools across the state.

Here we explain what's Tamil Nadu's CM Breakfast Scheme and how it has performed so far. 

What is Tamil Nadu's CM Breakfast Scheme?

Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin had launched the CM Breakfast Scheme on September 15, 2022. It provides free breakfast to children primary government schools.

Initially, the scheme covered around 1.14 lakh students in 1,545 government primary schools. 

Now, the scheme has been expanded to cover 15.75 children in state's all 31,008 government primary schools in both urban and rural areas. 

The government order to expand the scheme was issued on June 7 and it was formally launched on Friday, reported PTI.

Launching the breakfast scheme in Madurai, Stalin, quoting the late Periyar E V Ramasamy, C N Annadurai and M Karunanidhi had said nothing -be it poverty or caste- should be an obstacle to access education, reported PTI.

The menu of the breakfast provided to students is made such as that children get a unique set of food items every day. The proposed menu on Social Welfare and Women Empowerment Departments' website states that children get uppama type breakfast on Monday, kitchadi type on Tuesday, Pongal type on Wednesday, uppama type on Thursday, and sweet type on Friday. Besides these items, the children would also be provided with millet-based meals at least twice a week.

"The quantity of raw material will be 50 grams per child per day. Locally available millet-based Breakfast also be utilised for at least two days a week. This will ensure approximately 293.40 calories of energy, 9.85 garms of protein, 5.91 grams of fat, 1.64 grams of iron, and 20.41 grams of calcium for each child," says the departmental website. 

CM Breakfast Scheme has led to increased attendance: Govt study

The CM Breakfast Scheme in Tamil Nadu has sought to address the dual issues of nutrition deficiency in children and low attendance in schools. 

A government study has found that around 90 per cent of schools covered so far have recorded an increase in attendance after implementation of the scheme.

"The study conducted by the State Planning Commission found that 1,319 out of 1,543 schools where children are provided with breakfast since September 15, 2022 have shown an increase in attendance in the months of January and February when compared to June-July last year," reported Deccan Heralad.

The scheme also complements the mid-day meal scheme. While the mid-may meal provides lunches, the CM Breakfast Scheme provides morning meals