PALPA, July 21: Rambha Rural Municipality has introduced mid-day meal as well as accident\health insurance cover for school-going children of up to the fight grade of all 37 community schools in the rural municipality.
"We have already allocated a budget for this. The 37 schools have around 2,244 students in total. From nursery kids to fifth-graders will get the benefit," said Bishnu Prasad Bhandari, chairperson of the rural municipality.
The mid-day meal was common for the community schools earlier. Citing irregularities and low-quality service, the government put a brake on this program later. Even though reports say that fewer children are coming to school due to the lack of mid-day meal, the government has not reviewed the decision.
"It got very challenging to retain the students without the mid-day meal. So, we started it last year in a few schools. From this fiscal year, all children up to the fifth grade will get a free meal at their schools," Bhandari said. "Similarly, accident and health insurance will be very helpful for small children, we hope," he added.
According to Bhandari, medical expenses of up to Rs 10,000 will be covered by the insurance in case of the children being injured or sick. This is a part of an initiative to make the rural municipality a smart city, he noted. "We have many other programs underway, many infrastructures to be built to develop it into a model city," he said at a press meet on Friday, while unveiling the budget for the new fiscal year.