A demand was made in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, to launch a national sample survey to assess the scourge of untouchability in the midday meal scheme and initiate steps to stop it.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Bhalchandra Mungekar, a Congress MP, said, "Untouchability is a very serious issue. Caste system has destroyed lives of millions. Its practice is rampant and it's shameful in our country. SC/ST Commission has said practice of untouchability is there in midday scheme in the coastal areas in Odisha."
Mungekar said, "It is observed that some teachers are sowing the seeds of untouchability in Odisha...Such teachers should be punished." He demanded a national sample survey to assess the magnitude of the problem and initiate corrective steps.
The Congress member said the objective behind the midday meal scheme, besides sharing nutritious meal, is social integrity.
He said that the younger generation was not as affected by the evil as the older generation, but the survey was a must as the midday meal scheme covered 14 crore children.
A large number of members agreed with Mungekar's demand for the survey and for placing the report before the House for initiating corrective measures.