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You are Raghav/ Radhika. You are shocked by the reports of deaths of a large number of students after having the mid-day meals in Bihar, and other parts of the country. Write an article on `Mid-Day Meals in Schools to be published in a local magazine.
Ans. Mid-Day Meals in Schools
In India, everything is reduced to a hoax or to complete shame. The Government introduced the much hyped and publicised scheme of Mid-Day Meals in schools with great fanfare. The authorities claimed to provide free hot and nutritious mid-day meals to students in public schools. The concept was universally welcomed. It was expected that the move would encourage the weaker and poorer sections to send their children to schools. Soon the whole scheme degenerated into the mire of corruption. The state governments and the centre provided the worst quality of food grains and rice to schools. They were not suitable for consumption by human beings. Moreover, the nexus between the contractors and the staff made the whole project a tool for minting easy money. The deaths of so many students in Bihar revealed that even ordinary precautions were not used to cook food for students. Adulterated cooking oil, decaying food grains and stale vegetables were used. It is difficult to imagine that the concerned authorities were unaware of such heinous, immoral and corrupt practices. Crores of rupees changed hands and the life of millions of innocent children was left to their fate.
It is a crying scheme that we don’t spare even innocent children when it comes to mint money. Such immoral and corrupt practices must stop. The headmasters and the Principals of the school must be made directly responsible and involved in the scheme. The ring of the meals must be made obligatory even for the staff. The government can win the shaken confidence of the parents and the masses only by implementing the scheme effectively and honestly.