Problems in execution of mid-day meal scheme
August 30,2013, 01.42 PM IST
There are no separate kitchens to cook food for children or store rooms to keep commodities and vessels.
Mateti Venu Gopal
Khammam: Lack of kitchen halls for cooking mid-day meal in schools is posing a serious threat to the health of children. About 50 per cent schools in the district are not having kitchens and there is every chance of dust and insects settling on the food items. Besides this, many schools lack drinking water facility, gas connection, compound wall, toilets, electricity and other necessary infrastructure facilities.
Mid-day meal, one of the flagship programmes of the Government, was started in the year 2003 to reduce the dropout rates of the children studying in Government schools. School age children who discontinue their studies due to various reasons are known as dropouts. In the beginning the scheme was implemented only for the children studying up to class five. In the year 2011 the scheme was extended to the children studying up to 10th Class. The Central and State Governments share the expenditure in the ratio of 75:25.
The officials were not taking any concrete steps to prevent the recurrence of food poisoning incidents even when the Bihar incident in which 19 children died due to food poisoning after consuming mid-day meal scheme is fresh in the memory of the people. The food being provided is also of inferior quality. The menu prices are not revised according to the spiralling prices. When the reality is this, the workers are made scapegoats and often held responsible for the problems arising on account of the shoddy implementation of programme.