'Rice quality poor in midday meal scheme'

'Rice quality poor in midday meal scheme'

Rice served to students in schools under the midday meal scheme is not cooked well, half boiled or over boiled- This is the observation of South India Cell for Human Rights and Monitoring (Sichrem) and the National Commission of Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), which conducted a social audit in 47 educational institutions in the City.

The audit has found that a majority of the institutions evaluated, showed glaring evidence of failure in implementing the midday meal scheme. Not just that. The teachers in these institutions use students, especially girls, for their domestic and personal works as well.

In the five wards of K R Puram, Shivajinagar, Vasanthanagar, Pulikeshi Nagar and Chamarajpet, Sichrem has found that the quality of rice used under the midday meal scheme was below the prescribed level of nutrition.

Identifying three organisations-- Isckon, Mausim Shariff Foundation and Adamya Chetana-- supplying midday meals, Sichrem has said: “Food being served is not as per the menu given by the government.”

Both the organisations in their audit have found that: “Especially, the quality of the curd rice is very bad.”

According to the audit report, despite the implementation of Right to Education and government orders, teachers use corporal punishment as a policy in most schools. Most teachers in these schools are irregular and arrive only at their leisure.

In their recommendations, the organisations have asked the government to take steps for providing good quality food and a standard menu to be followed.

The government must take measures to provide utensils and appoint Group ‘D’ workers to do the job and not depend on children.

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