Despite the Centre’s direction to make available mid-day meal ration to schoolchildren, around 800 students in a Patiala school were reportedly deprived of ration under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme for seven months.
(AP photo for representation)
As many as 800 children in Patiala, the home district of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, have reportedly not received ration allotted to them under the Mid Day Meal Scheme for seven months. This is despite the Centre’s direction to states to provide mid-day meal ration to schoolchildren on a monthly basis during the closure of schools due to pandemic.
The matter came to light when school teachers alleged that principal Karamjeet Singh was not providing ration for distribution to students, as per a report in Hindustan Times.
As per the report, 800 students of Government Model Senior Secondary School at Pheelkhana — 2 km from the CM’s residence in Patiala — have been deprived of mid-day meal ration.
The daily added that the Patiala school principal admitted that around 800 students have been deprived of the ration for seven months, but couldn’t say why.
The school has started distributing 3kg rice and wheat to each student against the sanctioned 14kg rice and wheat each, HT added.
“I earn Rs 6,000 a month by working as a housemaid. My husband lost his job of tiffin service to paying guests during the lockdown. We cook food just once a day. If the school had provided us mid-day meal ration, at least my son could eat twice a day. Even till now, they have not provided any ration for my son,” mother of a student told the daily.
Demanding an inquiry, a teacher said the education department should check as to what is going on in the school. “The department will find several irregularities if the inquiry is conducted by officials of other district,” the teacher was quoted as saying.
School education minister Vijay Inder Singla, meanwhile, said he has directed the district education officer to look into the matter. “Action will be taken against the person concerned if any irregularity is found,” the minister said.
Also Read | How pandemic devoured poor children’s superfood