Municipal schools serve unhealthy food to children

100 per cent of midday meal samples fail nutrition test

While the Bihar midday meal incident exposed the lack of monitoring at the ground level in implementation of central sponsored scheme, it has come to light that while the North Corporation schools generally provide unadulterated food, it severally lacks nutritional value.

In a startling revelation, the education department officers of North Corporation have conceded that 100 per cent of the midday meal samples lifted from the municipal schools since January this year have failed the nutrition test.

Fortunately, none of the samples were found to be adulterated.

A North Corporation officer said between January 1 and June 30 this year, 36 samples were sent for nutritional test to Shriram Institute for Industrial Research.

“Out of 36 samples, 27 were found to be short on prescribed limits of protein and calorific value. Six others failed on calorific value but had the required protein level. While the rest three failed on count of protein,” the officer said.

The officers gave the figures in a reply to short notice put forth by the leader of Opposition in North Corporation, Mukesh Goel.

He slammed the civic body for providing unhealthy food to students and failing to take action against NGOs supplying food under the scheme.

“Last year, only 17 of 69 food samples passed the nutritional test. This year, the number has gone even higher,” Goel said.

“The same NGOs continue to supply food to the municipal schools. Instead of taking action against them, the BJP-ruled corporation keeps extending their contract, apart from fulfilling all their demands,” he added.

However, the officers said they have failed to take any strict action against NGOs for the samples due to lack of any strict guidelines over the issue under the scheme.

“The guidelines are very clear if food is found to be adulterated. But in case of nutritional value, there is no clarity,”said municipal commiss ioner, P K Gupta.

“We have already written to department concerned of Delhi government, the nodal agency of midday meal scheme, asking them to advise what action to be taken in the case. We will act accordingly once they revert on it,” he added. The officers further added that the security money of the NGOs deposited with the corporation has been frozen.
“Civic body will deduct the penalty amount from the frozen money if required,” an officer said.

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