It isn't just Bihar, states across India ignored mid-day meal complaints
- Haji Ali dargah will have to open doors for women after Bombay HC ruling
- My vision for India is rapid transformation, not gradual evolution: PM Modi
- Panel works on alternative to pellets: Balls of pepper, capsicum gas
- Scorpene leak: Firms to be blacklisted only in cases of clear criminality, says Parrikar
- Sheena Bora murder: Taped conversations emerging on media submitted in court, says CBI
Bihar may be in the spotlight for its mismanagement of the Mid-day Meal Scheme but the human resource development (HRD) ministry has found that several state governments have failed to act on complaints about the programme year after year.
Following the tragedy in Chhapra in which 23 students died after consuming the lunch served in school, the ministry compiled complaints about implementation of the scheme from 2011 to July 19 this year from across the country and found there were 106 in all.
The list, accessed by The Indian Express, includes complaints about inedible meals making children ill, mismanagement, misappropriation of funds and corruption, among others and have been escalated to the ministry.
Uttar Pradesh tops the list with 25 complaints. Bihar is nearly as much in the dock with 16 complaints, many of them serious and unresolved. Bihar, in fact, is yet to respond to serious complaints about diversion of midday meal scheme foodgrain for other purposes as pointed out in CAG reports.
Haryana has 11 complaints to reckon with while Madhya Pradesh has 10. West Bengal does no better with nine complaints.
Complaints about the "poor quality" of meals served abound, with lizards, insects, fungus and worms found in the food. And it is common to see children fall ill after such meals.
Sample the nature of complaints against states: 126 students in a Delhi school fell ill after consuming a mid-day meal at a Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in 2011; 42 fell ill after consuming a meal with a lizard in it in two Haryana schools the same year, insects were seen in a meal served at an Assam school in November 2011; cockroaches in meal caused 22 children to fall ill in Delhi the same month.
- In Kashmir, so-called solutions are riddled with contradictions and divisions
- Why personal, social and political self-identification of Dalits must count more than legal nomenclature.
- The draft surrogacy bill violates the fundamental right of people to choose modes of parenthood
- Realpolitik drives Myanmar’s outreach to India and China
- Epidemics in India are seldom followed by a long-term response
- Pakistan army has a battle to win: The corruption within