Karnataka: School students’ demand for parboiled rice not met

Students studying in the IXth and Xth standards at government and aided schools in the district have continued their demand for parboiled rice, or kuchalakki, instead of raw rice during midday meals.

While kuchalakki is served to students up to class VIII, class IX and X students are served raw rice. In the coastal district, kuchalakki is widely consumed, not raw rice. Earlier, the students and parents had requested the education department to arrange parboiled rice. Though the department assured that it would procure parboiled rice, it has not materialised so far.

With their demands not being met, complaints are now being received from students during Makkala Sabhe, held in gram panchayats. On Thursday, at the Makkala Sabhe organised by the Kodimbadi gram panchayat in Puttur, students of three government schools were represented. Among them, high school students of Shantinagar complained that they are experiencing stomach ache after eating raw rice. “We want the department to provide us parboiled rice,” they requested the food and civil supplies department through the gram panchayat. The other complaints related to midday meals were to provide fresh milk instead of milk prepared using powder, and to provide quality tur dal.

Earlier, students, teachers, and parents complained that the raw rice provided turned mushy or soggy after cooking, due to which the students were unable to consume it. Reacting to the demand of students, Jnanesh MP, executive officer, Akshara Dasoha, Dakshina Kannada, said that it is true that parboiled rice is widely consumed in the coastal districts. However, it is not possible due to budget allocation, which is fixed for grades IX and X.

Lack of budget

“We can only procure raw rice for grades IX and X with the given budget. We have already received fresh raw rice supplies for another few months. Though there is demand from a large number of students, it is not possible to meet it due to budget constraints. We will again request that the government provide parboiled rice,” said Jnanesh.

This article has been republished from The Times of India.

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