The other day, we were in discussion with principals of different schools on the mid-day-meal schemes, in light of the recent tragedy in the Chhapra district in Bihar. More shocking information came out, the more we discussed. The rate at which per meal is calculated is so less, that you hardly get anything these days. To expect quality in that little amount (just about under Rs 3 a meal per student) is near to impossible. At most of the places where the NGOs are given the responsibilities for executing this mid-day-meal scheme are only concerned about their own little profit. As a result, rice colored by chemicals, stones mixed with lentils, stale vegetables are a common thing. Menus decided for the week are hardly followed. Many people now see this scheme at doing more bad than good. The whole state is in shock, but many saw this coming as well.
Nothing works without politics. Then there is the thing about spending at the district levels and then at the block levels to pay bribes to get the contracts for running these schemes.
The party in power blames the opposition for conspiring to bring down the government through this. But can they stoop so low?
What served initially as a bait to attract students to come to schools, should be re-thought in its implementation strategy, for its initial goal of providing nutritious meals to children is not being fulfilled.
The feeling of frustration goes higher.