The Department of Welfare in Jharkhand has made a decision to provide free meals and two-time dining for students residing in tribal hostels. This initiative is known as the “Student Hostel Nutrition Plan” and is expected to benefit approximately 22,000 students residing in the state’s 593 tribal hostels.
This program will incur an expenditure of around 103 crores annually. The Welfare Minister, Champai Soren, has approved this proposal, which has been forwarded to the State Accreditation Committee. Initially, this proposal was returned to the committee with some queries, and after modifications, it has been resubmitted. Unlike the previous proposal, this one specifies that each student will incur an expenditure of approximately 3800 rupees per month, which includes two meals and one snack’s cost.
It’s worth noting that the Chief Minister has directed the formulation of a comprehensive plan for the repair and rejuvenation of these hostels. The decision has been made to construct them using funds from the District Mineral Foundation Trust, Corporate Social Responsibility, and state or central government schemes.
Appointments will be made for cooks and guards in all hostels, and they will receive a stipend. Amendments will also be made to the hostel regulations because, previously, these hostels were allocated to various universities or institutions without proper maintenance. As a result, many of these hostels have deteriorated. The Welfare Department will now take control, renovate them, and bring about changes in their management.
Additionally, libraries will be established in 500 of the state’s major hostels. These libraries will include a variety of books, including those for high school and college students, as well as competitive examination materials. Daily newspapers will also be made available to students. Establishing one hostel is expected to cost approximately 20 lakh rupees, with 5 lakh rupees allocated for the purchase of books.