Murthy asks corporate India to fund mid-day meals

Bangalore, Jan 19 | Updated: Jan 20 2007, 05:30am hrs
Infosys Technologies founder and chief mentor NR Narayana Murthy on Friday called for action to boost the mid-day meal scheme for the poor and control population in the country.

Urging exporters with profits of over Rs 50 crore to participate in the mid-day meal schemes, Murthy told the valedictory function of the CII Partnership Summit 2007, Let us show that we have ethics and values and we are concerned with society.

Create an India that is 10 years from now, not vastly divided, where the joy of rural parents is no less than those of urban ones. Businessmen should be a part of the process of building the country, he added. According to him, corporate tax collected from the companies could be set aside by the finance ministry to fund mid-day meals at schools across India.

He said a corpus of Rs 32,000 crore could be collected from companies through corporate tax, and, along with government funding, 35 million poor children could be fed. It requires only Rs 6 for lunch for each child a day and another Rs 3 for breakfast, he said.

We must ensure that the weaker India is taken along. India must be everywhere not just outside the country but also inside the country, Murthy urged. Advocating a public-private partnership to control population, Murthy, who is part of the population council, called for the government to strengthen its population control efforts.