Khargone (Madhya Pradesh): The mid-day meal (MDM) cooks have alleged the impracticality of assigning one cook for 100 children. Apart from cooking and serving meals for children, the cook has almost a full working day job including washing the cooking vessels and cleaning the kitchen.
An average MDM worker cooks for 25 children in a day. Apart from cooking and serving meals for children, the big cooking vessels have to be washed and the kitchen cleaned before she leaves for home. So, it is more or less a full-time job of great responsibility.
Alleging their exploitation, the MDM workers submitted a memorandum to the block resource coordinator (BRC), sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), and the collector.
They also emphasised that removing the cook from the position after over two decades of service is unjust. The fear of unemployment and the challenges of supporting their families loom large.
They highlighted that despite a government announcement to increase the honorarium from Rs 2,000 to Rs 4,000, cooks are yet to receive the revised amount. The government should walk the talk when it comes to empowering poor women. Keeping in view the cooks have almost a full working day job they should get the legal minimum wage. They said that they have been working since 2008 and completed 26 years of service.