WFO assisted programme

In order to encourage children who are deprived of going to school, a balanced diet programme is starting in Ramechhap district from next month. 35,000 children of all the primary and lower secondary schools, situated in 55 Village Development Committees (VDC), will benefit from the programme.

According to Mitralal Pandit, programme manager, the government alongwith the assistance of World Food Organisation (WFO) has decided to implement the programme in the district from the forthcoming academic session.

The programme will specially focus on increasing the number of girl students and in case their number reaches more than 80 per cent of their total number in the community, an additional two litres of vegetable oil will also be distributed to the applicable schools on a monthly basis as well, says Chhatra Kumari, programme assistant. If girl students attend as they hope, the programme will be especially effective.

Even though the programme should have been implemented nine months ago as announced by the government, it will actually start from the forthcoming academic session, since WFO only had the infrastructure to implement it in 2002. In order to make it successful, 18 different distribution centres have already been opened in the district, through which flour will be distributed to all the primary and lower secondary schools of the district. The centres from which the food will be distributed are Lakhanpur Bethan, Galba, Doramba, Majhwa, Pakarbas, Bhadauli, Gelu, Chisapani, Manthali, Ramechhap, Salu, Sadhutar, Dhobi, Khimti, Bhuji, Bamti and Thoshe.

Under the programme, students from class two to eight will be fed daily. 85 grams of flour, 15 grams of sugar and solid sweetmeat will also be distributed to the children apart from other staple food. Even the parents of young children should also be interested to send their children to school as they too will be receiving food or snacks. Since most of the people in the district are below the poverty line, this offer to feed their children with nourishing food is highly desirable.

There are altogether 325 primary and 39 lower secondary schools in the district, which is comparitively less than in other districts. At schools where the programme has already been implemented, food has already been distributed to 200 schools under committees formed by 25 guardians of school-going children alongwith the implementers of the programme, states the programme time table.