Govt bans substandard midday meal suppliers

Poor quality: SDMCs directed to ensure food is cooked on the school premises

Permission accorded to private organisations that supplied poor quality food to as many as 40 schools in various taluks in the district has been cancelled.

Further, the School Development and Monitoring Committees (SDMCs) have been directed to ensure that food is cooked on the school premises and provided to students under the midday meal scheme.

On February 1, Deputy Commissioner Manoj Kumar Meena and Zilla Panchayat
in-charge CEO had issued a directive to the effect.

As per the directive, it is compulsory for government, aided high schools and primary schools in 2012-13 to cook food on the school premises.

The issue of private organisations supplying poor quality food to schools under the midday meal scheme was last discussed in August 25 and December 19 at the Zilla Panchayat general body meetings.

The permission stands cancelled following Zilla Panchayat president Manjula announcing, on January 28, that the supply of food by private organisations be stopped.

Last year, private organisations were asked to supply food, as a number of schools quoted lack of sufficient cooking area and other reasons.

Poor quality food supplied by private organisations came to the fore during the school visits by Zilla Panchayat president, vice president and others.

Also parents had demanded that food be cooked on the school premises. oreover, the directive issued by the deputy commissioner clearly delineates that it is the responsibility of the SDMC members and the headmasters of respective schools to ensure that children are provided with nutritious and hygienic food.

She also said that the Deputy Directors of PWD and Block Education officers should not wait for any special directive, but should take necessary actions immediately.

The officers concerned are asked to submit report within a week, of the actions taken in regard to mid-day meal in the school.

Earlier, Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene leaders had alleged that poor quality food is being served in the schools, by the private organisations in the district.

ZP chiefspeak
It is inappropriate to use a scheme which is meant to provide nutritious food for children, for profit.

Thus, permission to private organisations supplying food to schools has been cancelled. Now, it is the responsibility of respective schools to ensure that children are provided nutritious food.
Manjula, Kolar ZP president

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