Now “Ragi Laddus” snacks for ICDS pre-school children in Odisha’s Keonjhar

Keonjhar: In a first of its kind, the Keonjhar district administration has decided to provide Ragi Laddus as morning snack to pre-school children enrolled under ICDS across the district from July 2, 2020.

Ragi Laddus will be prepared and served to the pre-school children in the age group of three to six year at Anganwadi Centres across the district in addition to the existing menu on Wednesdays and Saturday, officials said.

The entitlement per child is two Laddus of 20 grams per week.”

Ragi has over 30 times more calcium and four times more iron than polished rice. It also has more fibre, minerals and antioxidants.

The initiative is a part of  the ongoing “Special Programme for Promotion of Millets in Tribal-cum-Mining Areas of Keonjhar under District Mineral Foundation (DMF)”.

The core objectives of the initiative are to improve the nutritional status of pre-school children and revive the age-old tradition of millet consumption in the district, officials added.

The initiatives will also provide an additional source of income to women SHGs, an assured price to farmers for Ragi and boost local production of Ragi and other millets.

Meanwhile,  the administration has decided to provide pre-cooked Ragi Laddu Mix via home delivery to the children in view of the on-going COVID protocols.

In the first phase, pre-school children anrolled 335 Anganwadi Centre in Sadar block have been covered from today. Subsequently, all pre-school children across 3257 Anganwadi Centres in the district will be covered from September 1, 2020, officials said.

The total budget of the programme is Rs 1.5 crore per annum and will be entirely funded  by DMF.

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