According to the 86th amendment of our Indian constitution, in India every child between the age group 6 to 14 has a fundamental right of education. Apart from education, there is one more right that right to live with dignity where the mid day meal scheme plays a crucial role. It is because if children are getting proper nutritional value and staying healthy, it means the nation’s future is bright. One of the UN summits happened on 8 Sept 2000 where India signed the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) Pact.
In India, to supervise whether any corruption activity is going on or not. For that purpose, the CVC (Central Vigilance Commission) of India looks at all monetary activities of it. Coming back to the mid day meal scheme, India should run nutritional support programs to bring awareness of nutrition in our society and keep young students of our nation healthy.
However, this scheme is only applicable in government sponsored schools and learning centers. It is because they are underprivileged and are unable to afford good quality food. Over the years after its launching in 1995, there were several ups and downs in this scheme. Therefore, let us bring some good knowledge about its achievements and challenges.
Key Achievements of the Mid Day Meal Scheme
- There are several reports published showing that MDM schemes have successfully prevented classroom Also, it promotes the school’s active participation by developing a social security, equality among students and due to it there is no caste or gender discrimination. Let us discuss some of its advantages that reports depict.
- One study conducted by the Nobel laureate Amartya Sen’s research team. The team name was Pratichi Research Team who conducted the study in West Bengal showing that because of the mid-day meal scheme there is a good surge in active participation of students in schools. Mostly, students belonging to SC/ST castes are highly actively participating.
- A research report called PROBE (Public Report on Basic Education) shows that 84% of households’ children actually enjoy the mid day meal scheme and cooked food in schools. It is all because of the variety of menu items that gives different delicacies to students. Due to different tastes of food items and favourite meals, government school students are actively participating in schools.
- In the central part of India, means Madhya Pradesh, one report by the National Institute of Public Cooperation & child Development, Indore says that due to the mid day meal scheme the number of dropout students has reduced. Especially girls’ academic performance over there and this scheme has helped in improving this figure.
- One central government’s performance audit in 2011 on food security schemes shows a comparison of Orissa and Uttar Pradesh on the basis of MDM. In Orissa, there is a higher performance with 86.7% efficacy rate. On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh has the success rate of 51.8%. These percentage shows how much students are actually getting the mid day meal in schools.
Challenges of the Mid Day Meal Scheme
Many government school teachers have pointed out that there are numerous problems associated with the mid day meal scheme.
- More food wastage instances.
- Insufficient funds to sponsor this scheme
- Lack of cooking infrastructure or even schools do not have basic shelter to cook foods.
- No proper storage facility of cooked food.
- Unhygienic conditions of schools create an unhealthy eating environment.
- No high quality food grains are used to cook foods.
Such challenges the government has already acknowledged and trying to enhance the level of food and create a healthy environment. Therefore, the government is making citizens aware of it.