Although the mid-day meal menu has been designed to cater to both the taste buds and the nutritional requirement of students, but in the absence of food grains and funds, 92 students of Government Primary School, Doraha under municipal committee are forced to consume a staple diet of dal (lentils) and chapati everyday.
A visit to the school revealed that cooks were preparing chapati and dal for students even though the prescribed menu is different for every day.
On Friday, the school authorities have to serve kheer (sweetened rice), seasonal vegetable and chapati, but in the absence of food grains like rice and wheat and shortage of funds, the school authorities are not able to serve these to the students.
Students were also seen sitting in the open and in corridors. Six classrooms of the school have been declared unsafe, due to which teachers take the classes in open.
A parent Sushil Kumar said, “My daughter is studying in this school and attending classes in the corridor. Being a labourer, I cannot afford to pay private school fee and therefore, my daughter has to continue her studies in the same school. But the state government should provide funds for new classrooms as during rains and inclement weather, where will the school authorities conduct classes?”
Sunita Devi, incharge of the school, said: “We have received no funds from the district education office and we are running the mid-day meal scheme on credit. Food grains have also not reached our school, due to which we are not able to follow the mid-day meal menu. We have informed the DEO office and are hopeful of receiving the funds at the earliest.”
“The school building is very old and all the six classrooms are unsafe. So we have accommodated the students in corridors and in the open. The executive officer of the MC has assured that new building will be constructed for the students,” she said.
When contacted, Ludhiana mid-day meal incharge Gulzar Shah said, “We will check with the school authorities and funds will be transferred soon. Food Corporation of India supplies food grains to schools. So the government school can also borrow the food grains from any school nearest to them.”