Alleged Caste-based Boycott of Mid-day Meal in Karnataka School Denied

Alleged Caste-based Boycott of Mid-day Meal in Karnataka School Denied

Some activists in this district on Wednesday alleged that a few children ``boycotted'' mid-day meal in a government school in Sira Taluk because a Dalit woman was cooking food', a charge rubbished by officers of the Education Department.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 10:30 PM IST
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Alleged Caste-based Boycott of Mid-day Meal in Karnataka School Denied | File

Some activists in this district on Wednesday alleged that a few children ``boycotted'' mid-day meal in a government school in Sira Taluk because a Dalit woman was cooking food', a charge rubbished by officers of the Education Department. Some children in a government school in Naragondanahalli reportedly refused to have meals.

Dalit activists in the village claimed that the children of the chairman and members of the School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) brought separate lunch boxes because 'the woman who cooked food was from the untouchable community'.

Soon, the Block Education Officer along with the assistant director (mid-day meals) rushed to the school and enquired the reason behind the incident.

According to an officer, who is in charge of the mid-day meal programme, five children declined to have free meals served to the students.

"We gathered information from parents and teachers about five children who were not having meals in the school. When we enquired the reason, they said the children were getting nausea after having meals. This was however, given a different colour by vested interests. There is no such thing like caste-based discrimination," the officer said.

He quoted the parents, teachers and students as saying that they were in favour of having mid-day meals served by the school authorities.

"Finally, the teachers, parents, students, police and education officers had meals together in the school," he added.

The Block Education Officer of Madhugiri Taluk Manjunath under whose jurisdiction the area falls, said everyone had lunch together after the officials visited the spot. "Everyone had the midday meal together except for one who is allergic to the meals served in the school," Manjunath said.

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