Nearly 67% of students interviewed from 52 civic schools in the city by Child Rights and You (CRY) said they were unhappy with the quality of mid-day meals served to them.
In January, CRY conducted a pilot study on quality of education in schools run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Andheri, Bandra and Santacruz. Hundred students, 50 teachers and 50 parents were interviewed and were asked 25 questions.
“Our study seems to indicate that there are too many compromises made in BMC schools and education is not a priority,” said Kreeanne Rabadi, regional director, CRY. “Children do not have access to secure school buildings, playgrounds, drinking water, clean toilets, libraries and computer facilities.”
CRY will present the findings to candidates contesting the BMC elections in February.
Poor quality of mid-day meals was a concern for most students. The BMC has an education budget of Rs1,790 crore of which more than Rs100 crore is spent on mid-day meals. “A government resolution issued last April states that children should be given idli sambar, bananas, biscuits and different kinds of khichidi. But 145 contractors provide only khichidi,” said Nitin Wadhwani, a CRY volunteer. Wadhwani said the 1,190 BMC schools in the city have more than 3.45 lakh students, but there are only six food inspectors. “I get the same khichidi every day. I have even found stones in my food,” said Durga Jhadav, a Class 4 student of a BMC School in Jogeshwari.