Former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) national vice-president Laxmi Kanta Chawla has extended an invitation to Punjab education minister Sikandar Singh Maluka to have food served to children in government schools under the mid-day meal scheme.
“Without giving any prior information, you (Maluka) should visit any school or schools when mid-day meals are being served.
Sit with the children and have food with them, because sitting in Chandigarh does not make you aware of the ground reality,” she said in a statement issued here on Sunday.
She also urged the officials of the education department to tour across the state and find time to share mid-day meal with government school children.
“Then only you will get an idea whether the food being served in schools is fit for human consumption or not,” she added.
“The quality of the food served is so poor that most of the students just throw it away,” she claimed.
“Only children belonging to very poor families, who come to school empty stomach in the morning hours, consume the food just to satiate their hunger. Half-cooked chapattis are gulped down with the help of water,” she claimed.
Chawla again claimed that the food served was not only poorly-cooked, but was not at all healthy and nutritious. “A growing child needs nutrition, which is the basic purpose of the mid-day meal scheme,” she added.
She sought a thorough probe either by the state vigilance bureau or by any other agency to bring out the “hidden facts” about the mid-day meals.
“Why such poor quality foods are being served? Who are those who get the benefit and to what extent? All these facts need to be brought to light,” she demanded.