Malkangiri: The purpose of the mid day meal scheme launched to attract children to school with free lunches seems defeated in Odisha’s Malkangiri district with allegations of insect-infested rice being used surfacing from a school. Such mismanagement not only threatens health of children but also raises questions over the modus operandi of the State administration in running the much touted scheme.
According to sources, in the MV-29 primary school of the district, rice infested with weevil is allegedly being used along with poor quality and meagre quantity of vegetables for mid-day meals.
According to reports, the Block Education Officer (BEO) and nodal officer of the mid-day meal scheme are aware of the issue. Even the Cluster Resource Centre Coordinator (CRCC) admitted low quality food being served in the school. However, the administration is yet to take any step to stop the unhealthy practice.
“The rice is indeed insect-infested. It’s the stock rice since April. So, it has got infested and must not be served to the children. I will inform my higher authorities about the issue,” said CRCC Satyasen Jena.
While eating rice, I always find insects. If I complain, they yell at me saying Is the rice yours or from your home; you are getting to eat for free, so eat without making any noise
“We have complained to the head-mistress here but she is not listening to us. The school staff is serving the children rejected and rotten vegetables being brought from their homes,” alleged one villager Somresh Mondal.