State rejects allowance instead of MDM

Bhubaneswar: The State government has rejected the Centre’s decision of providing “allowance” to school children for mid-day meal (MDM) while on the other hand it has framed rules for effective implementation of National Food Security Act.

“Allowance to school children instead of MDM is not at all acceptable to the state. This will defeat the very purpose of the MDM for reduction of drop out rates. The Centre on September 30 has framed such a rule,” Odisha’s Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma said.

Asking the Centre to reconsider its decision, Dasburma said the new MDM rules would create divide in schools.
The ‘Mid Day Meal Rules 2015′ notification of which was issued by the Centre on September 30, states that schools that fail to serve mid-day meal for reasons such as non- availability of food grains, cooking cost, fuel or absence of cook-cum-helper and others, will have to disburse quantity of food grains as per entitlement along with the cooking cost prevailing in the state to beneficiaries by 15th of the succeeding month. This, however, will not be applicable for kids who would refuse meal for their own reasons, it said.

On the other hand the minister claimed that the state government was careful on proper implementation of the NFSA in Odisha and has framed seven rules for effective implementation. The seven rules framed by the government for implementation of NFSA includes provision of free ration card to 13 primitive tribal groups, correction of errors in the cards within 3 months through ration card management system, and a vigilance monitoring system among others.