Millennium Post

Mid-day meals fail quality test!

Mid-day meals fail quality test!
It is now established that substandard food is being served under the mid day meal scheme. The test reports of Shri Ram Institute for Industrial Research here, the designated laboratory for test of mid-day meal food samples in Delhi, clearly mentions ‘the sample does not meet the requirements laid for mid day meal.’

Millennium Post is in possession of hundreds of such reports of samples collected from kitchens of all NGOs that are providing mid-day meal in Delhi. Reports show all food samples have failed the nutritional test. ‘The protein value in the mid-day meal food samples is as low as 6.7g and calorie value for the same is 215 calories, which should be minimum 12 gm and 450 calories respectively for a student in one meal,’ said a report. Commenting on the shocking revealation of the ‘Test Certificate’ reports of mid-day meal, T K Singh, Project Coordinator, Mid Day Meal and Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (MDM-SSA) of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi said: ‘It is just tip of the iceberg. The entire scheme is being subverted and sub standard food is being provided to kids studying in primary and upper primary schools in the country.’

He further informed that only Delhi has the provision of chemical analysis of food samples in India. CSDS is the designated institute in Delhi for third party monitoring of the mid day meal scheme. A senior officer of HRD informed that none of the states providing vegetarian food in mid-day meal scheme meet the standard. ‘I have to see the papers to comment,’ said Dr Amarjeet Singh, additional secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) who supervises the mid day meal programme in the country.

The Test Certificate reports of the Shri Ram Institute for Industrial Research supports the investigative stories of Millennium Post carried from 25-31 October, uncovering the scam in the mid- day meal scheme of the government. The scam is watering down over Rs 11,000 crore scheme of Central government to provide at least one balanced diet to over 14 lakh primary and upper primary students of government schools in country for least 200 days in a year.

A test report of a sample of one of the largest NGOs supplying the meal, Stri Shakti, mentions the protein value in a sample picked up on 25 April as 7.3 g in a dish of poori -sabji. Similarily, in another sample of rice and chholey picked up on 17 August, the protein value has been mentioned as 8.8 gm and calorie value at 250 gm. Stri Shakti supplied the meal to over 2.7 lakh students of Municipal Corporations and 60,000 students of government schools.

‘The NGOs give their best food of the day for testing, but it shows their best, too, doesn’t live up to the expectations,’ said T K Singh, of CSDS. ‘The situation is alarming, but the officers are not paying the heed on reports,’ he added.

It’s not only Stri Shakti, reports for all NGOs–Ekta Shakti, Surya Charitable, Dalit Manav, Bharatiya Manav, Maitree Research Foundation–are abysmal. In a sample of dal and rice of Dalit Manav Utthan Sansthan, picked on 17 July, the protein value has been mentioned as 6.7 g and calorie value at 215 calories. Similarily, in a sample of
halwa chana
of Surya Charitable, the protein value is mentioned at 8 and calorie value at 273. In a sample of puri and chhole of Bharatiya Manav Kalyan Parishad, picked up on 2 April, the protein value was found to be 8.4 gm and calorie value at 324 calories.

Millennium Post,
in its investigative reports, has established that the food allotted for one student is being served to at least two students, by compromising quality and quantity, leaving children malnourished and anaemic.

‘The food is mostly water, as the government has not prescribed any permissible limit of water in food supplied under mid-day meal scheme,’ said a senior officer supervising the scheme.

‘Over Rs 11,000-crore scheme of Central government to provide at least one balanced diet to over 14 lakh primary and upper primary students of government schools in country for least 200 days in a year is being subverted and nobody bothers,’ added T K Singh of CSDS.
Siddheshwar Shukla

Siddheshwar Shukla

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