The Indian government has been following a benevolent scheme since the last decade for the nation’s schoolchildren. Many consider it to be one the most ambitious ventures of the government till date to transform the education sector as well as the social demographics. It is the Mid-day meal scheme which is being talked about here. It was envisaged in order to eradicate poverty and assure proper nutrition for the schoolchildren as well as drive poor families to send their children to school for getting assured meals besides education.
Corruption in thy veins
The scheme currently covers more than 120 million children across the nation and has reportedly been successful in generating fruitful results mainly among the poorest sections of the society. But sadly in spite of its benevolent visions, the scheme has oft been plagued by many a scandals and allegations. The magnitude of these said negativities are on the rise in recent times and has indeed raised a flutter in many departments of the society as well as the government. There has been constant criticism over the standards of food being provided to the children with serious doubts over fulfilling the objectives of providing adequate nutrition and hygiene to the children. Moreover corruption among the officials and food suppliers is rampant. Allegations have surfaced that the food intended for the children is sold in the black market instead of feeding them.
Dutifulness: What is that?
Add to this the persistent lack of proper diligence among the school authorities and officials regarding feeding the children which has added to the woes of the scheme. The school authorities are often found to be lacking the required keenness and fortitude as utter neglect often causes the food to be sub-standard in preparation. It is often found to be contaminated accidentally due to carelessness or sheer neglect in carrying out the duties with assiduity.
National shame: One and many
Shameful occurrences of events have taken place where many children have suffered owing to the consumption of stale, contaminated or adulterated food unfit for consumption. The results have been drastic as many children have fallen ill on consuming the food or have succumbed to it and died in tender ages. Investigations often find the contaminated food to contain dead lizards, frogs, rats and insects while other specimens are found to be contaminated with microbial growth or harmful chemicals. This year alone has recorded the death of many schoolchildren while several were taken ill by consuming mid-day meals. Events in Aswara near Ahmedabad, Parvati near Pune, Mangalore and a few days ago in Bihar point out to the glaring manhandling of lives in the hands of a few irresponsible and corrupt ones in broad daylight.
The need of the hour
Such problems that are arising with the consumption of mid-day meal as well as the corruption related to the scheme needs to be tackled immediately and with heightened vigour and credibility by the government. We must understand that millions of lives are at stake when they consume such sub-standard food. The poor send their children to school so that they can have a meal or two besides their education and lead a healthy life which they cannot afford generally. Children are the future of our nation and if we cannot assure them with the security of the food that they eat then we are not at all fit to be called guardians in any respect of humane ideologies.