You are here: Home » Economy & Policy » News
Business Standard

SC issues notice to govts on unhygienic mid-day meal

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam issued notice to governments and directed them to file status report

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Media persons outside Supreme Court

In the backdrop of Bihar mid-day meal tragedy in which 22 students died, the Supreme Court today sought report from Centre and all states on steps taken by them to prevent such incidents and to provide hygienic food to children.

A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam issued notice to governments and directed them to file status report.

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by an advocate Sanjeeb Panigrahi seeking court's intevention on the ground that there is no effective monitoring and evaluation of quality of food served to students under the scheme.

"In over 12 lakh government-run and aided schools, children receive free, cooked lunch every day but they are constantly exposed to risk of food poisoning and other related health hazards due to lack of infrastructure and proper monitoring of the scheme," the petitioner said.

He also alleged that governments are not complying with apex court's earlier order to provide prepared mid-day meal with a minimum content of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein each day of school for a minimum of 200 days.

"Lack of cleanliness occasionally leads to food poisoning, Children fall sick and there is a backlash against the whole programme from parents and teachers. This is actually not difficult to avoid, but it requires paying close attention to safety and hygiene at all times. The cook and helper have a special responsibility in this respect. Anyone who is involved in the cooking process should maintain strict personal hygiene and other safety measures," he said.

Alleging that monitoring of the scheme is inadequate and its performance is not getting evaluated by any external agency, the petitioner sought direction to governments to initiate proper and regular financial and social audit of mid-day meal scheme.

"A spate of incidents takes place every month in some parts of the country leading to death and illness of children which require the Central and state governments to look for newer ways and means to check the rot in mid-day meal disbursing mechanism. Mere inspection by the administrative apparatus is not going to solve the problem rather a constant supervision and monitoring on the scheme at work is essential," the petition said.

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, August 16 2013. 18:41 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.