Due to the scarcity of funds, Government Primary School, Doraha, has stopped serving mid-day meal to students from Wednesday onwards. There are 227 students in the school and the school has already spent Rs 20,000 from their pocket to run the scheme.
School incharge Karamjit Kaur said, “We have stopped serving the mid-day meal to students, we have already spent Rs 20,000 from our pocket to run the scheme and we can't afford to run this scheme anymore. However, students have been informed to bring food from home. We have also informed the mid-day meal incharge regarding the problem. We will restart the scheme, only if the funds are provided to us in time.”
Meanwhile, Kanwaljit Kaur, incharge, Government Primary School, Khaket, Sahnewal, said, “We have not received funds for mid-day meal and we have spent Rs 12,000 from our pocket to run the scheme. At present, we have foodgrains, so we are running the scheme. The day, food grains will finish, we will be forced to stop serving mid-day meal to students.”
Sukhwinder Kaur, incharge, Government Primary School, Nandpur, Sahnewal, said, “The funds for the month of October were given to us on October 11 and after that no funds have been sent. We have spent `10,000 from our pocket to run the scheme. If we don't get funds with in a week, then we will be forced to stop the mid-day meal. Moreover, we have shut down the scheme for 15 days in the month of September due to shortage of funds.”
The shortage of funds has affected all schools in the distrcit from the past so many months. Wile some schools were running the scheme on their own, others stopped serving food due to shortage of funds.
Meanwhile, Sadhu Singh, block primary education officer, Doraha, said, “I have not received anything in written from the school, but I am aware of the problems being faced by the school to run the mid-day meal scheme. We received Rs 1 lakh as fund for the scheme on Tuesday, but these funds are not sufficient to run this scheme properly in Doraha. Atleast Rs 2.5 lakh per month is required to run this scheme successfully. Moreover, the funds, which I have received will only be able to clear the backlog in the school accounts.”
When contacted, Ranjit Singh Malhi, district education officer, elementary, said, “We have transferred the mid-day meal funds. However, the funds have been given late, but we are helpless too, as we we are receiving the funds late from the Centre. I am aware that these funds are not sufficient, but we can't do anything."