The Mid Day Meal is the world’s major school feeding scheme catering to about 12 crore children in over 12.65 lakh schools/ EGS centres across the country. The scheme was started in 1925 for deprived children in Madras Municipal Corporation. Through the mid 1980s three States viz. Gujarat, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the UT of Pondicherry had universalized a cooked Mid Day Meal scheme with their own funds for children studying at the primary stage. By 1990-91 the number of states implementing the mid day meal scheme with their own resources had increased to twelve states. The main goals of this scheme was to increase enrollment, holding attendance and at the same time improving nutritional levels among children.
“Mid day Meal” has become “sad day” for many school children and their parents across the country due to inferior, unhygienic and sub-standard food served to them. Children are dying and falling ill after eating contaminated food. Recent news of Bihar, Delhi, Amritsar and many more states has brought the awful truth behind the scheme. The fact tells us about the poor management and careless vigilance of the government. Reports show that Food being served in Delhi’s mid-day meal scheme is one of the worst. According to the norms of the MDMS reviewed in 2007, the meal served each day should offer at least 450 calories and 12 grams of protein to primary children (classes I to V) and 700 gram and 20 gram protein to upper primary children (classes VI to VIII). But the moot question remains, whether all these norms are followed in reality or not. Introduction of schemes are easy but the way they are implemented is a big question mark for the government as well as for us. The unclean cooking places, the polluted food, the impure water used in cooking and many such things shows how these schemes are playing with the life of children, instead of doing any good to them.
Further, to avoid such instances government should take strict action for the persons responsible. Not only there should a proper supervision, but regular analysis should also be done. The quality of food, storage, cooking places and other should be checked on regular basis, stringent quality control measures should be implemented by the responsible authority. Those not following the rules should be strictly punished.
Due to lack of supervision and carelessness the aspiring Mid Day Meal has brought embarrassment to the whole nation.