Bhubaneswar: Schools in Odisha are likely to reopen this month, given the improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the state. The Odisha government has decided to gift students ‘Happiness kits’ when the schools reopen. The ‘Happiness kits’ will have peanuts, jaggery, chickpeas among other items. These will give a boost to their immunity.
The distribution is set to begin during the first week of February. It would cover five districts in the initial phase. The districts are Khurda, Cuttack, Puri, Nayagarh, and Sundargarh, an official said Monday.
“Each kit would contain nutritious food items, such as wheat, turmeric powder, peanuts, jaggery, chickpeas, cinnamon, cardamom, biscuits. These apart, stationary items, including pen, pencil, notepad, sanitary napkin, toothpaste, iodised salt and soap, would also be a part of the kit,” the official said.
Odisha’s School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said at least 1.83 lakh children of 1,916 schools will benefit from the initiative. All the schools are located in the five districts mentioned above. The programme of distributing ‘Happiness kits’ would later be extended to other districts of the state, Dash said. “In all, 30 lakh children of 60,000 schools would be able to avail the kit,” the minister informed.
Official sources said the Odisha government has approved a proposal to assign the kit distribution job to Akshaya Patra Foundation. It is the same organisation which supplies mid-day meals to schools.