Let school teachers assess number of children who need eggs amid lockdown: Madras High Court
"We are a welfare state. The issue of revenue will definitely arise for the state but children have to be provided with necessary nutrition as they are the future of the country," said the bench
CHENNAI: Censuring the state, a division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the state to let government school teachers, anganwadi staff and village health nurses assess the number of families and their children in the state who require raw eggs.
After the state submitted that it was practically impossible to give eggs to children who are missing them due to the lockdown, the Madras High Court directed that it will issue detailed directions on Tuesday on providing them with dry rations.
The two-member bench comprising justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha issued the directions while hearing the plea on providing nutritious food at AMMA canteens by introducing eggs as part of the menu and also for the children who were part of the mid-day meal scheme.
The counsel for the state informed the court that a total of 71.59 lakh sanitary napkins have been distributed to 23.86 lakh adolescent girls and postnatal mothers through Primary Health Centre (PHC) nurses between April and July.
The counsel also contended that there are practical difficulties in distributing eggs to school children like maintaining social distancing during the lockdown period.
Not convinced with the arguments made by the government counsel, the division bench asked, "If social distancing is one of the primary contentions for not providing eggs, then why don't we close TASMAC shops?"
The court also observed that with the lockdown in place, teachers, Anganwadi workers and health nurses can be roped in to carry out the entire assessment work of the children who require eggs.
"We are a welfare state. The issue of revenue will definitely arise for the state but children have to be provided with necessary nutrition as they are the future of the country," added the bench.
The court recording the submissions adjourned the plea for detailed orders tomorrow.