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.
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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