Tuesday, June 7, 2011

[ZESTCaste] Midday meals cooked by dalits go waste


Midday meals cooked by dalits go waste
Akshaya Mukul, TNN | Jun 7, 2011, 04.24am IST

NEW DELHI: A dalit chief minister in Mayawati has not changed the
deep-seated caste bias in schools of Uttar Pradesh. In 40% schools of
Shahjehanpur, Badaun and Pilibhit districts, teachers do not taste the
mid-day meal food and students refuse to eat it since the cooks belong
to lower caste.

The rot in MDM in these three districts is not confined to caste bias
alone. It has also been found that in schools of urban areas of these
three districts roti and green vegetables are never given, in 80%
schools there is difference between the number of actual students
present in the class and the number of students who are shown to be
availing of MDM. Also, in most of the schools in urban areas there are
no utensils.

In rural areas of these districts, MDM supplies of 95% of the schools
are kept at the pradhan's house from where they are brought to the
school every day for cooking.

The report on three districts was prepared by Lucknow University's
department of education. It was discussed, along with another report
on Maharajganj district, in the MDM's Project Advisory Board meeting
last month in the HRD ministry. The Centre has now asked the UP
government to look into the matter and send a report by July 31.

The report said that in the three districts upper primary school
children take less mid-day meal than those in the primary sections
because the "upper primary children belonging to general category are
more aware of caste system and do not like to take mid-day meal
prepared by SC cooks".

The report said in 10% schools of rural areas of these districts,
village pradhans do not give the required quantity of food grain for
cooking mid-day meal. It also said that in 95% schools of these
districts children bring their own utensils. Also, non-iodised salt is
used in 5% of schools and 30% schools used wood for cooking mid-day

Another report – prepared by GB Pant Social Science Institute,
Allahabad, and Lucknow University – based on a survey of 110 schools
of Maharajganj district said that MDM was not served in 50% of the
sample schools.


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