Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, October 14
Adding the ingredient of taste to the mid-day meal has turned out to be a perfect recipe for improving attendance of students in anganwadi centres. A committee, after visiting centres in a village in Chandigarh, said the foodstuff was being “liked” by the “beneficiaries” and it had resulted in an increase in the attendance of the children.
As the case revolving around the empowerment of women and the poor came up for resumed hearing before the Punjab and Haryana High Court, information to this effect was furnished before the Justice Ritu Bahri’s Bench.
It was submitted that steering-cum-monitoring committees had been set up at the state, district and block level to check proper implementation of the mid-day meal scheme. The panel members, among other places, visited anganwadi centres in Kishangarh village in Chandigarh, where additional food items such as milk, banana and eggs were being provided to the beneficiaries.
The Bench, during the course of the hearing, was also told that a letter, dated August 28, had been written to the Panchkula, Gurugram and Faridabad deputy commissioners to carry out a motivation process for supporting additional food items in the anganwadi centres in urban areas through corporate social responsibility. They had also been asked to explore the possibility of involving NGOs and religious institutions. They had further been requested to use tools such as mobile app and YouTube channel through corporate social responsibility and NGOs. “A letter has also been written to the Chairman, Confederation of India Industry, and the Federation of India Chambers of Commerce and Industry to provide financial assistance in urban areas of the three districts for providing additional food items, preparation of mobile apps, YouTube channel and anganwadi centres,” the Bench was told.
Before parting with the order, Justice Bahri directed the Panchkula and Faridabad deputy commissioners to file status reports on the implementation of the scheme placed on record by the Gurugram Deputy Commissioner. They were also asked to file “details of 10 villages identified for the implementation of scheme by giving nutritious and health food to children and identify common places for the weaker section”.
The High Court had earlier prescribed substitution of the mid-day meal with wholesome food, including milk, bananas and eggs, to better the nutritional standing of school-age children. The developments took place on a petition filed by Jugraj Singh for regular bail in an abetment to suicide case under Section 306 of the IPC at the Boha police station in Mansa district. Taking up the plea, Justice Bahri initiated suo motu proceedings for preventing women from ending their lives and benefiting them at pre-crime stage before asking the respondents to turn to social media for marketing products they manufactured part-time.
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