Days after a contaminated mid-day meals led to the death of 23 students in Bihar’s Saran district, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar called for a relook at the way the scheme was being implemented in the state.
“Preparing a mid-day meal for lakhs of school children is not easy. This needs a lot of preparation and resources,” he said at the Bihar legislature complex on Friday.
There was a need to come up with a new, improved plan, backed up by a more elaborate infrastructure to prepare and serve quality meals in a safe and effective manner, the chief minister said.
Asked about the boycott of mid-day meals by over three lakh primary school teachers on Thursday, Kumar said he was in agreement with the teachers’ argument that their job was to teach, not to serve food.
“But the MDM is a Supreme Court-mandated scheme that cannot be shut down all of a sudden based on what the teachers are saying. The present arrangement has to continue till a more effective replacement can be put in place,” he said.
The primary teachers’ association has decided that its members would not be associated with MDM in any way.