Children of primary schools in Hardoi are being deprived of mid-day meal.
The funds meant for the scheme have not been transferred in the accounts of Gram Shiksha Nidhi due to declaration of poll code by the Election Commission in the district.
Hardoi is not the only district to face this problem. Similar complaints are pouring in from other districts as well.
The mid-day meal funds of about Rs 2.37 crore for March and April are lying with the government treasury. But as the poll code has been implemented and funds have not been released, schoolchildren are forced to go back home with an empty stomach.
The school attendance has gone down. The cook entrusted with the job to prepare the meal has nothing to do and is whiling away time.
According to sources, mid-day meal funds allotted for March were remitted on March 30 in the district.
A few village pradhans are getting the food made and making payment to the cook on their own.
Village pradhan of Nanakganj Shanker told
that foodgrain was available but there was no money available to cook it. He added that he was spending money from his own pocket to make food available to the kids.
Basic Shiksha Adhikari Rajendra Prasad Yadav said the funds meant for the mid-day meal were not transferred in the accounts of Gram Shiksha Nidhi as the poll code was in force in the state. However, he added, village pradhans can implement the scheme with the balance funds available in the accounts of Gram Sabha. Yadav warned that the village pradhans should be prepared for the audit of their accounts.