Mid-day meal cooks to prepare meals for polling staff in Ludhiana | punjab$ludhiana | Hindustan Times
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Mid-day meal cooks to prepare meals for polling staff in Ludhiana

Mid-day meal (MDM) cooks of government schools will soon have a new assignment in their hands. Besides feeding the students, they will now be deployed to prepare meals and tea for the staff on election duty at the polling booths on February 3 and 4.

punjab Updated: Jan 30, 2017 16:35 IST
Deepa Sharma Sood
Ludhiana deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat, said, “The MDM cooks will prepare meals on February 3 and 4, the polling day.
Ludhiana deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat, said, “The MDM cooks will prepare meals on February 3 and 4, the polling day.(HT File Photo)

Mid-day meal (MDM) cooks of government schools will soon have a new assignment in their hands. Besides feeding the students, they will now be deployed to prepare meals and tea for the staff on election duty at the polling booths on February 3 and 4. This is the first time, the authorities have directed mid-day meal cooks to serve food to the polling staff. 

The district administration-cum-district election officer Ravi Bhagat will instruct the district education officers to direct the school heads to make necessary arrangements. Under the supervision of the staff concerned, the mid-day meal cooks will prepare the meal. 

Around 15,000 poll staff will report on duty at the 2,722 polling booths allotted to them on February 3 and stay on till the conclusion of polling on February 4. 

Talking to Hindustan Times, Ludhiana deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat, said, “The MDM cooks will prepare meals on February 3 and 4, the polling day. If any polling booth is set up in a private building then, the MDM cooks of the nearby government schools will prepare the meals. The returning officers have also been asked to make bedding arrangements for for the polling staff.” 

Earlier during elections, either the villagers/area residents or party candidates used to make the arrangements for the polling staff on duty. 

Nidhi Kalotara, returning officer, SDM Samrala, said, “We have asked nodal officers (block development and panchayat officer and patwari) to make bedding arrangements for the staff at polling booths. We know that the temperature dips at night, so the staff concerned has been directed to make proper arrangements for bedding and food. I will also supervise to ensure that proper arrangements are made, as we will provide the best facilities to the polling staff.” 

Reacting to DC’s instructions, the mid-day meal cooks say that they have to follow the orders and will prepare the meals. A mid-day meal cook, Ashima, said, “We prepare meals for around 400 children every day and if we are asked to do the same for a staff of 15- 20 people then, it is not a problem. We just want that the authorities to make the payments on time.”