Mid Day Meal 

The Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Voluntary Action Network (UPVAN) Sri Ashok Singh welcomed the participants and thanked them for their curiosity for the release of the report on a vibrant issue. First of all he expressed his gratitude for the active contribution of the heads and workers of the organizations working of the grassroots level in attaining the objectivity of the study. Thereafter, he briefly touched upon the main finding of the study. He narrated that it has emerged from this study that the scheme has not been successfully implemented. The enrolment of students in primary schools did increase but they are hardly staying in their classes. There has not been a visible improvement in the health of the students by taking the so-called nutritious food. It is because of the non-availability of foodgrains of the desired quality. Instead, day in and day out the news of the falling ill of the students after taking mid-day-meal in schools. It is a happy augury that the Uttar Pradesh government in the Department of Primary Education, taking the media news in to cognizance, has constituted the Task Force for the enquiry. However, no permanent solution is forthcoming. Of and on such news are repeated. It appeared that the Department of Education is not able to identify its root cause. The present study has brought to light that the root cause is the supply of low quality of foodgrains. The provision of sample checks at three points has been quite ineffective due lack of inter-departmental coordination and corruption. If village Pradhans are blamed, they feel agitated and come out for roadside demonstrations. The teachers also avoid participating in this noble cause.

Sri Pandey thanked UPVAN and its member organizations and particularly Sri J. N. Singh, Consultant UPVAN for conducting a study on such an important issue of social importance. Tracing the historical background of Mid-Day-Meal scheme he told that it was first of all initiated as a relief measure in the disaster affected areas by Madras Municipal Corporation in the year 1925 so that the children of such areas may not be deprived of education due to their empty bellies. He further expressed that it is the need of the day that the objective assessment of Social and educational schemes are made. It is to be particularly emphasized that how the funds allocated are utilized on such schemes and programms? Whether the target group is being benefited through them? It is essentially needed to adjudge As to what extent the outlay of Rs. 2800 corers have been utilized for the desired objectives. Sri Pandey placed some of the suggestions for the successful implementation of this scheme.  

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