Mid-day meal: School given notice for giving extra food

Mid-day meals: West Bengal school issued show-cause notice for giving additional food items

School staff prepares food packets to distribute among guardians of students as mid-day meal at a school in Murshidabad. (Credit: PTI Photo)

The West Bengal government has issued a show cause notice to the authorities of a primary school in South 24 Parganas district for giving additional food items and soap bars along with rice and potatoes to guardians of students under the midday meal scheme amid the lockdown, a notification said.

The sub-inspector of schools, Bishnupur circle, had on Friday issued the show cause notice to Amgachhia Lal Bahadur Free Primary School, accusing it of violating the government order of providing only 3 kg each of rice and potatoes to guardians of the students from April 20 to 30, it said.

In addition to the fixed quota, the school authorities had also distributed a packet of flattened rice, biscuits and a bar of soap to each of the beneficiaries on April 23, the notification said.

The state government has asked the school authorities to give its explanation within three days of receipt of the notice, it said.

The administration sought to know who had given the school the right to decide on distributing the additional commodities by violating the standard practice, the notification said.

"You are instructed to give an explanation about such distribution from your school and whether you had taken any permission from the higher authority to do such distribution.

"An explanation should be given from your end within three days from receiving this letter," the notice, a copy of which was forwarded to the block development officer, said.

The school authorities, when contacted, refused to comment on the issue.

Rice and potatoes are being given to the beneficiaries across the state from April 20 under the midday meal scheme.

"Such instances of going beyond the brief of the government will not be allowed. This is a government project and there can be serious ramifications if we choose to ignore such instances," an official of the School Education Department said.

The distribution is going on smoothly in other parts of the state, he said.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee had earlier said any violation of government order -- ranging from not taking safety precautions to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus to altering menu -- will invite serious action.

Chatterjee, however, was not available for comment on the incident. 

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