Useless exercise, say the teachers. Mid-day meal contains nothing but water.
As part of a new dictate served by the Education Department of Delhi Government, a senior teacher in every school providing mid-day meal to students will have to taste the food and give his OK report before the food is served to the children. This dictate is being seen by the teachers as another gimmick out of the countless that the Department resorts to and will have no impact whatsoever on the quality of the food. Instead, the poor teacher will have to bear eating mandatorily the tasteless food which otherwise he would never do. This RNI correspondent sat across the table of a Government school teacher while he tried to gulp down two pooris and a sabzi that appeared more as dal than sabzi and recorded his observations. Needless to say, the identity of the poor teacher who had to undergo the ordeal in front of our correspondent is not being revealed, to save him from any consequential trouble.
The new circular has been issued by the Delhi Government’s education department consequent to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s surprise inspection of a Government School in West Vinod Nagar in Delhi. Sisodia who also holds the education portfolio, visited the school just as the mid-day meal was being served to the students. He tasted the meal himself and found it was of poor quality. Prior to leaving, Sisodia had warned that action will be taken against schools which fail to meet guidelines set under the mid-day meal scheme and had said the government will soon take ‘big steps’ to improve the quality and provide nutritious food to children.
The ‘big steps’ that Sisodia announced have resulted in the new circular making it mandatory for a senior teacher to taste the food before it is being served to the student. But as can be heard from the recording, the teachers are of the view that adversely commenting on the quality could become troublesome for them in the future.
Says the teacher: “What can you give in 5-odd rupees. You do not get a roti in 5 rupees. In this meagre amount, the contractor will keep his profit while a share will also go to the officer in charge.” As the teacher ate the food, he continued to stress to this correspondent that it had nothing but water, also giving justification as to how any ingredients can be put in the sabzi in the meagre amount that the contractor receives. “It has neither salt nor oil,” said he.
The teachers are afraid that if you make a comment, you will be exposed to action. They are of view that the entire system is corrupt. You cannot make an adverse comment or else you will expose yourself to action. In the succeeding conversation, they even expressed disillusion at the hopes being belied of a corruption-free government in Delhi.
RNI News Network