A paucity of funds has made it difficult for the government schools of the state to run the midday meal scheme. The scheme’s money is not received since April and even the quality of food grain is not good.
In spite of repeated complaints to the district midday meal manger, the bad stock remains in schools. The situation is no different in other districts, and in Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur, the grant is due since May.
After having received money from the Centre, the state government is yet to release it to all districts. “Our scheme accounts are running low by ? 30,000,” the teacher in charge of a government primary school here said on the condition of anonymity, adding: “The government has enhanced the cooking cost per child but first it should release the pending funds. The prices of fuel and cooking gas have shot up. If we don’t have more allocation, we will stop serving the meal from next month.”
Another government school headmistress, who also wished not to be named, said: “Teachers are running the scheme with own contribution but for how long. We have no grant since April and 450 students to feed.”
Tarsem Singh Banga, in charge of the midday meal programme in Ludhiana, confirmed that he had complaints about poor quality of food grains from a few schools. “We have told them not to accept the stock,” he said.
“I have directed the DGSE to check,” said state education Minister Daljit Singh Cheema.