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Amritsar

Posted at: Dec 4, 2016, 12:54 AM; last updated: Dec 4, 2016, 12:54 AM (IST)

Mid-day meal scheme faces a crisis due to note ban

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, December 3

The government teachers who have to make arrangements for mid-day meal are in a fix after the decision of demonetisation. They are under pressure to arrange the funds for mid-day meal on a routine basis. The scheme, sponsored by the Central Government, has especially been formulated for the students of government schools.

A government teacher, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “We are deprived of cash for buying seasonal vegetables which are a must for the students as a part of the menu prepared by the schools. Not just vegetables, we are also struggling for the purchase of other required commodities due to demonetisation.”

“Despite less cash in hand, we were managing the meal well. There are standing instructions that the mid-day meal can’t stopped even if the government does not pay,” said a teacher.

Another teacher at the local primary school said, “I am visiting the bank daily for cash but I also find it tough. We are borrowing money from our sources. The shopkeepers also want cash payment for their daily needs. It has become a tough task to arrange for meal nowadays.”

However, the crisis of funds is not new for the mid-day meal scheme and teachers are used to arranging the money to run the meal scheme.

“The government often delays the payment. We make arrangements from our pockets. But this time, it is tough to pay the cost of cooking due to cash crunch,” said a teacher.

The employee said if the problem is not resolved soon, it is possible that they may stop the mid-day meal scheme in the school and it will be a more challenging situation.

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