Chandigarh, November 29
At his instance, officials of the ministry got in touch with the Haryana Education Department and asked them to organise a visit of an officer from the ministry to the affected schools of Deora and Keorak. Today, an officer of the ministry arrived in the city to carry out an inspection of the these schools.
The Deputy Education Adviser, MHRD, Mr PK Mohanty, accompanied by officials of the Haryana Education Department and the district administration, including the Deputy Commissioner, Mr HS Malik, and the Additional DC visited the two schools and checked the samples of foodgrains being served to the students.
Expressing satisfaction with what was now being served to the children in the schools, he interacted with the staff and students and invited suggestions for improving the mid-day meal scheme.
It may be recalled that following the publication of the story, the district administration had swung into action and replaced the entire stock of supplies to the schools with fresh stocks.
Meanwhile, the Secretary, Haryana Education Department, Mr Tayal, admitted that complaints in the mid-day meals had come from different areas at different times but expressed helplessness in addressing these problems.
“There are a number of agencies involved in procuring, dispatching and cooking the mid-day meals. It is difficult to sit in Chandigarh and monitor the entire show and ensure smooth implementation. The responsibility lies first with the agency procuring the stocks, then with the one transporting. The District Primary Education Officers and the teachers are the last in this chain of events. However, gradually, we hope to streamline the job,” Mr Tayal added.
Sources in the department said that the Education Department had once forwarded a proposal to allow purchases of everything except foodgrains and rice at the district level to address the problem of poor shelf-life and irregularity of supply.
However, this proposal was turned down by the Chief Minister’s office and the charge of procuring stocks for the mid-day meals was given to the high-power purchase committee.