MEERUT: A surprise inspection at a midday meal kitchen in UP’s Saharanpur has stumped the district administration. An official who visited the kitchen of the NGO hired to supply the “nutritious supplement” found that the milk being served to students was little more than water. Of the stock that was inspected, officials detected 292 litres of water in just 192 litres of milk.
Radha Krishan Tivari, assistant director in the basic education department who held the surprise inspection, said school kids were drinking milk that had more than 150% of water.
“We were simply stunned,” Tivari told TOI on Thursday.”The visit to the kitchen of Nav Prayas, an NGO we hired to supply milk and midday meals, left one dismayed. It supplies food to 131 schools, including 107 primary and 27 higher primary government schools. It is consumed by over 11,000 students.” A student said on the condition of anonymity that many kids are often unable to eat the food on their plate “as the quality is so bad”. He added, “Had it not been for the surprise raid, no one would have noticed and no one would have cared.” With an aim to make the mid-day meal more nutritious, the UP government had recently decided to distribute milk among kids coming to government primary and higher primary schools. In schools located in rural areas, it is the head master and village head’s combined responsibility to distribute the meals; in schools running in urban areas, the basic education department hires NGOs for the purpose. Tivari said that while the quality of “milk” being fed to the kids left them “re ally upset”, the khichdi that was being served was no better. “It had very little tomato, green vegetables and soya bean,” he added. The report has now been sent to the Basic Shiksha Adhikari recommending strict action against the NGO. The NGO will also not get payment for the month of July and August. “Distribution of milk in the mid-day meal is one of the chief minister’s (Akhilesh Yadav) flags hip schemes and no negligence at any level will be tolerated,” Tivari fumed.
Source – Times of India