Even though Prabhcharan Singh, general manager of mid-day meal (MDM), directed the MDM incharge and district education officer (DEO) that food would now be cooked at respective government schools instead of the centralised kitchen from July 1, the direction has not been percolated down to government schools in the city.
When this reporter spoke to some of the school heads, they said that they did not receive any information in this connection.
Meanwhile, Prabhcharan Singh told Hindustan Times: “We are trying our level best to provide food grain to the government schools before July 1 so that they can cook meal in their schools only. In addition, funds will also be transferred to the schools before July 1 for the purchase of pulses, vegetables, salt, condiments, oil, milk, LPG gas and other required items.”
One of the government school principals on condition of anonymity said: “We have received no information that we will have to get mid-day meal cooked at schools from July 1, neither have we received funds or food grain to prepare the meal. Moreover, if we have to cook mid-day meal, we need LPG gas and other food items. The authorities should have informed us about the decision.”
Headmistress of another government school, who wished not to be named, said: “Till now we have received no directions from higher authorities. For cooking, we will have to inform the cooks and buy other items. But, we are in a fix in the absence of any directions from the higher authorities.”
Tarsem Singh Banga, Ludhiana MDM incharge, said: “We will be holding a meeting with the school heads in presence of block primary education officers (BPEO) on Thursday to inform them about the decision and will ask them to make all necessary arrangements for the cooking from July 1. Food grains will be sent to schools LPG gas will be made available to the schools before July 1.”
No kitchen in many schools
In the absence of a kitchen in many government schools, they will have to prepare food items in open that has made school heads jittery as t gruelling summer and temperatures reach 35 °C, making it difficult to even sit on the floor. What is more that many schools don't even have utensils.