GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan and chief secretary Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani on Saturday launched a free-meal initiative for students in government schools.

The ‘school Khana (food) programme’ was inaugurated at a function held in a government primary school in Khomar area of Gilgit.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Khurshid said GB became the first region in Pakistan where free meal would be provided to students in government schools. He said providing food to schoolchildren would help ensure their mental and physical development and enhance literacy rate.

He said unless children were provided with nutritious food, their mental and physical development would not improve.

The chief minister said his government had already issued transportation allowance for schoolchildren.

Chief secretary Mohyuddin Wani said the scope of school meal programme would be extended to all districts.

He said the programme had been launched in collaboration with Allah Wala Trust, a welfare body, adding nutritious food would be provided to schoolchildren six days a week.

He said facilities of vision, body biomass index and other basic health tests would also be available to students in schools.

The chief secretary said information technology labs and libraries were also being set up in government schools.

On the occasion, Shahid Lone, the welfare body chairman, said in the first phase of the programme, about 12,000 schoolchildren would be provided nutritious food daily.

Published in Dawn, June 26th, 2022

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