Rule to prohibit mid-day meal cooks from wearing bangles laid down by Centre, not Karnataka

By: Ankita Kulkarni
July 19 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Rule to prohibit mid-day meal cooks from wearing bangles laid down by Centre, not Karnataka


The Verdict False

The dress code has been put in place to ensure meals cooked in schools are hygienic and safe. There is no communal angle behind the guidelines.

Claim ID 97795f1e


The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has accused the Congress of ‘suppressing Hindu practices' by issuing a circular asking women workers not to wear bangles while cooking mid-day meals for children in public schools in the southern Indian state of Karnataka.

In a tweet posted on July 15, Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel said, “Another hateful order has come out from the Congress government, which is always venomous against Hindus. Congressmen who said that ‘Mid-day meal workers should not wear bangles’ are they wishing to wear it for themselves? We condemn such rules that try to suppress Hindu practices (translated from Kannada).” 

The claim that the Karnataka government banned women mid-day meal workers from wearing bangles has also been shared by several right-wing groups online. Many of the posts not only target Congress for allegedly being “anti-Hindu,” but are also underlined with Islamophobic narratives.

However, the directive issued by the Karnataka government on the dress code is in line with guidelines issued by the central government, and there is no communal agenda behind it.

In Fact

Public schools in India provide hot-cooked meals to students from classes 1 to 8 under the centrally sponsored scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Poshan Shakti Nirman (PM Poshan),’ earlier known as the mid-day meal scheme. According to a statement by the Press Information Bureau, the central government sponsors the scheme in over 11.20 lakh government and government-aided schools all over India.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the Karnataka government had formed a task force to ensure cleanliness, hygiene, and safety in the preparation of mid-day meals in public schools in the Kalburagi division. Following the formation of the task force, the state government issued a circular on July 10 stating that public schools would be inspected to ensure compliance with guidelines issued by the central government. 

The official circular issued by the Karnataka director of PM Poshan scheme, accessed by Logically Facts, lists 12 guidelines the school authorities need to follow to prepare mid-day meals. Apart from regular sweeping and cleaning, and storing food in containers, the curricular notes that “cook-cum-helper should wear an apron, hand gloves and cover head. They should not wear bangles.” The circular states that the guidelines have been issued in accordance with the directions of the central government.

What do the central government guidelines say?

Logically Facts checked the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Education for the implementation of the PM Poshan scheme. These latest guidelines were issued by the Ministry’s department of school education in December 2022. One of the instructions under the ‘Personal hygiene, cleanliness and health check-ups of Cook cum Helpers’ section in the guidelines read: “Nail polish or artificial nails should not be worn because they can become foreign bodies and may compromise on food safety. No watches, rings, jewellery and bangles should be worn during cooking, serving and distribution where there is a danger of contamination of product.” This clarifies that the Karnataka government’s directive on the dress code is based on the guidelines issued by the central government. 

Following the furor over the directive, on July 16, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had posted a clarification on Twitter saying, “The Central government has issued guidelines for PM POSHAN scheme, where they have given a dress code and has directed women staff not to wear bangles while cooking.” His tweet also included a screenshot from the central scheme guidelines.

The Verdict

The directive prohibiting the women workers from wearing bangles while cooking mid-day meals is only to maintain cleanliness, hygiene, and food safety and has no religious motive behind it. It is not a new order introduced by Karnataka but a directive issued under the centrally-sponsored PM Poshan scheme. Therefore, we mark the claim false.

Read this fact-check in:

English , ಕನ್ನಡ

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before