Rice shortage threatens mid-day meal programme in Bhadrak schools

Bhadrak: Around 323 schools of Basudevpur block in Bhadrak district are facing crisis over lack of supply of rice for cooking mid-day meals from November last year. According to sources, many schools in the block have reportedly exhausted their stock of rice since last 6-10 days. After the School and Mass Education department issued a directive not to stop cooking of mid-day meals in schools, the teachers of these schools are allegedly borrowing rice from nearby schools to keep the programme running, sources said.

“We had received rice in November last year. The stock is exhausted now and we are borrowing it from nearby schools through a letter from the district nodal officer,” said Indurekha Sethi, Headmistress of a school.

According to sources, such a situation emerged after the district tender committee allegedly failed to appoint contractors for distribution of rice in schools of the block.

On the other hand the Block Education Officer, Rabindra Narayan Mallick said that the matter will be resolved soon. “We have received complaint that the stock of rice in some schools is exhausted. The problem is that the district tender committee has not yet finalised the contractor for distribution of rice in the block. There is some technical problem for which the PDS contractor has been requested to distribute the rice. The schools will receive rice in two to three days,” Mallick said.