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The controversies related to the nutritious meal scheme run by the Women and Child Welfare Department has reached the School Education Department (SED).

It has been more than a year that Women and Child Welfare Department (WCD) had written to the SED seeking details of girl student beneficiaries of the nutritious meal scheme. It hasn’t received a reply yet from the SED.

Nutritious meal scheme also covers girl school dropouts between the age of 11-14. The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) and the state WCD had concluded after field survey that there are 2,17,211 girl school dropouts between age group of 11-14 years.

Out of more than 2 lakh school dropouts, 1,71,365 girl beneficiaries have been identified and provided the nutritious meals through school education department.

However, after questions were raised on the numbers of beneficiaries of the scheme, WCD started gathering details and verified the numbers. Officials of the WCD wrote to provide name and details of the beneficiaries from the school education department.

The WCD had shot a letter to the SED on May 30, 2019 asking names and details of girls falling in the criteria.

However, SED could not provide the names of the beneficiaries leaving officials of the WCD puzzled.

SED has now written a letter to the collectors of all districts to gather the required information and send it to the WCD. The list provided to the WCD will be verified later.

The nutritious meal scheme has remained in controversy for several reasons. High numbers of beneficiaries had always raised doubts in the minds of several officials. Adding to it, implementation of the scheme through private organizations had also brought the scheme in controversy.

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