IT’S NO more contaminated mid-day meal for the students’ of primary schools. In fact, it’s no meal at all. Well, if this does not provide some serious food for thought to our authorities on how the much-touted food-for-education scheme is being implemented then nothing ever will.
But, this was precisely what a Zonal Health Officer of the LMC discovered when he visited two primary schools in the Aishbagh locality as part of the routine monitoring drive on Tuesday. As per the guidelines, students are to be provided their meal between 12 to 1 pm. Consequently, aware of the norm, zonal health officer of the LMC Dr NK Tripathi reached the Prathamik Vidyalay (primary school) at Labour Colony in Aishbagh around 12.30 pm expecting to see children enjoying their daily lunch. However, he found nothing of the sort. The school has strength of 141 students of which 100 were present. The ZHO decided to wait.
“I waited till 1.30 pm after which I left but the food was yet to arrive,” said Dr Tripathi. Inquiries from the lady school principal revealed that the meal is supplied by Samajik Jan Chetna Samiti, an NGO from Bilaspur in Chattisgarh run by one Barkat Ali that has its kitchen at Fatehganj in Haathi Khana from where the cooked meal is brought daily to the school. Rules, on the other hand, state that the food should be supplied through a centralised kitchen, preferably located within the school premises.
The principal also told me that the students of another primary school in the locality also attended their class in her school, as their school building was so dilapidated that the teachers refused to take classes there.
The ZHO said that he had forwarded his report in this connection to additional municipal commissioner Santosh Kumar. Kumar, however, was not available for comments.