Our country nurses Olympian dreams and thinks the way to fulfil these is by taking the Spartan road. Plain rice and salt or plain roti and salt on the plate for our poor young ones will one day ensure that future generations bring home gold medals, it seems.
First came the news of schoolgirls being fed plain rice and salt at their midday meal at a West Bengal school on Monday. On Thursday, the same story was repeated with a slight twist in the menu, at an Uttar Pradesh school.
Children at the Siyur primary school in Hinauta village of Mirzapur were served chappatis for lunch under the midday meal scheme. But instead of dal or vegetables to go with it, followed by milk and fruit, all they got was salt.
After pictures of this travesty were splashed across the public domain, district authorities called it ‘a serious lapse’ and have initiated an inquiry into the incident. A teacher has also been suspended.
Kajal, a student at the school said, “I had salt with chappatis today in my lunch. Sometimes, we are given vegetables with chappatis but for today’s meal we just got salt.”
Several other children at the school claimed they had not received any milk either, with their meal. The cook at the school claimed that she was provided just half a kilogram of potatoes to feed all the children in the school.
“I was provided half a kilogram of potatoes, salt and some spices to cook the meal for all the children in the school. I could cook only a few chappatis and had to serve them with salt,” the cook said.
Mirzapur District Magistrate Anurag Patel blamed the teachers for the mismanagement. “As per the orders by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, the menu of mid-day meals across the districts is fixed.
They are also given fruits and milk on some days. But these incidents happen due to the lapse of teachers and supervisory staff,” Patel told ANI. “We have suspended the teacher responsible and an investigation has been launched in the matter. It is true
that today the students got just plain chappatis and are being forced to eat them with salt for lack of vegetables. This is a serious lapse,” he added.