New Delhi: Months after ‘roti and salt’ fiasco, now, a primary school in Uttar Pradesh has been accused of serving diluted milk with bucket of water to the students under the mid-day meal scheme. The fresh incident has emerged from Sonbhadra district of Uttar Pradesh, which is said to be one of the most underdeveloped areas in the state.
As per the website of the Uttar Pradesh mid-day Meal Authority, students at government schools are supposed to get a proper meal including pulses, rice, rotis and vegetables as part of mid-day meals. Besides, fruits and milk are also required to be served on some days to ensure necessary nutrition. The mid-day meal scheme is designed to provide a minimum of 450 calories per child per day, which should include at least 12 grams of protein each day too. These meals should be served to each child, at least, 200 days a year.
But contrary to this, the children were severed adulterated milk at Salai Banwa in Chopan of Uttar Pradesh’s Sonbhadra district. The video of the incident which has been doing rounds on the social media showed a woman, (the cook of the government’s mid-day meal programme) adding a bucket of water to one-litre milk to feed 81 students of the school.
“There were almost 85 children and there was only one packet of milk. Sir, told me to mix water after which one bucket full was added. The milk was served hot after boiling it,” said the woman.
The matter came to the light when district officials visited the school to check the quality of mid-day meal. “I am being told milk was unavailable, so they were directed by the authority to mix water in it, in a balanced quantity. I am also being told that teachers had gone to get more milk but meanwhile pictures were clicked and distributed,” said Assistant Basic Shiksha Adhikari, Sonbhadra, Gorakhnath Patel.
He added that the matter is being investigated and action will be taken against the culprits.
The fresh incident comes nearly two months after 100 students at primary school in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur were seen eating ‘salt-roti’ as part of their mid-day meal. In September, the Uttar Pradesh police registered a case against the journalist who exposed the incident. The journalist Pawan Jaiswal was booked for criminal conspiracy. Apar from him, a representative of the local village head was also accused of defaming the UP government.