Govt plans major reforms to Midday meal scheme

Midday Meal Scheme: Both nutrition and cooking Hygiene of Midday meals will be ensured.

Addressing the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort on the 67th Independence Day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressed his remorse on the Bihar Midday meal tragedy, which resulted in the death of 23 children. Prime Minister said the Midday Meal Scheme will be reformed and “concrete measures” will be taken to ensure that meals provide under it are nutritious and cooked hygienically, so that such incidents don’t happen in any part of India.

Noting that about 11 crore children are being provided afternoon meals everyday in schools under the midday meal scheme.

Notably, 23 children, most under 10 years of age, had died after eating midday meal at a school on July 16 in Saran district of Bihar. The cooking oil used was suspected to be laced with insecticide.

A Suggestion:

To ensure the nutritiousness, hygiene and safety of meals under Midday Meal Scheme, the Government in collaboration with the state governments can establish cooking centres for a group of 5-6 schools. In these centres food can be cooked, packed in neat tiffin like trays, sealed and sent to each school. This way not only the hygiene of the food can be maintained, but the uniform nutrition across schools can also be ensured.