Price rise major hurdle in MDM implementation in Kendrapara schools

Kendrapara: Price rise happens to pose a major hurdle in effective implementation of midday-meal (MDM) scheme in government-run schools in Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

This trend has come under sharp focus as primary school teachers here brought the abysmally low fiscal allocation to the notice of UN World Food Programme (WFP) authorities.

Mirjana Kaveli, Chief of logistics development and supply chain office, UN World Food Programme, yesterday inspected the MDM scheme in various schools and interacted with children, teachers and guardians to gather first hand information of MDM operation in this coastal district.

The WFP functionary came across practical difficulties in MDM implementation with teachers drawing attention through barrage of grievances.

Teachers of Fakirabad upper primary school under Derabishi block claimed skyrocketing prices of dal, cooking oil and vegetables made it increasingly difficult for the school authorities to maintain quality and ensure quantity of the meal.

WFP has been working to support the union government in finding solutions to strengthen the country’s food-based safety nets in order to address present levels of malnutrition and food insecurity.

WFP in partnership with the government of Odisha, piloted iron fortification of midday meal in Gajapati district 2012 which will ended on October 31 this year, Mirjana Kaveli told media persons here.

The scheme aims to attract children to school and improve their nutrition levels.

It was launched to tackle the twin problems of dropout rates in primary schools and nutrition among children from poor families.

To successfully improve nutrition, it is essential to have convergence across sectors, including food, health, safe drinking water and sanitation, added Mirjana Kaveli.