Midday meal: K'taka HC asks govt for better action plan

Midday meal during Covid: Karnataka HC asks govt for better action plan

The affidavit further stated that the process of distribution of supplies was underway for the month of November

Karnataka High Court. Credit: DH File Photo

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday directed the state government to submit a better affidavit on a plan of action to restore the midday meal scheme and to compensate the children who have missed the benefit of the scheme for six months during the Covid-19 lockdown.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar, was hearing a batch of PILs on Covid-19 related issues. In the previous hearing, the court had directed the state government to file an affidavit explaining in what manner and within what period each student, entitled to midday meal scheme, will be compensated. The court had asked the government to state in what manner obligation will be complied with by providing either midday meal or food grains to each and every student.

The state government filed an affidavit by Dr Nagambika Devi, additional chief secretary, Department of Social Welfare and Department of Women and Child Development. The affidavit stated that totally 46.15 lakh beneficiaries in the state were provided supplies under the ICDS scheme and the process of distribution had been completed up to the month of October 2020.

The affidavit further stated that the process of distribution of supplies was underway for the month of November.

The court said that the state will have to come up with a proper compensatory scheme for distribution of food grains to children in view of non-implementation of the scheme for six
months.

The court also said that giving tur dal in lieu of cooking expenditure runs contrary to rules governing midday meals. The court also said that there is apprehension whether the food grains reach the real beneficiaries since schools are still
closed.