Shubham Gupta elucidates the Mid – Day Meal scheme of the Government if India, as formulated for Govt. Schools in India, along with also specifying the problems in implementation of the scheme.
“The legacy of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life can last forever. So, we must do what we can, as fast as we can, to give the most disadvantaged mothers and children dependable, quality nutrition.”
– Anthony Lake (Executive Director, UNICEF)
The Children of today are future of tomorrow; this powerful and profound statement envisages an idea that the rein of country growth and development is in their hand. They are future makers of India.
Inking every child with proper enabling and conducive environment to their need may blossom them into an ever fragrant flower, to spark and scintillating in each and every domain of life. Thus onerous responsibility lie upon our shoulder that we have to mould and shape their present with the best possible way.
Child Rights entails their basic right to born in safe and healthy and to foster progressively through their formative years of life in dignified salubrious environment. Apart from basic amenities, defined right has also given to them to them to promote in every dimension as they want.
Health is wealth; no one could ever progress without health. Health and nutritional value of diet plays a significant role for the optimum and wholesome development of an individual. Thus, a proper balanced diet is need to abet and accredit salubrious and diseases free environment. Reducing the level of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency and increasing enrolment, retention, achievement and completion rates in education are the focus areas in child development. Safeguarding the children from violence, exploitation and abuse fall under child protection. Thus, to a healthy and nutritional diet, Govt. of India imposed a mid-day meal scheme to ascertain fervid approach towards stunting challenges.
THE MID – DAY MEAL SCHEME
The Mid – Day Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of Govt. of India to ensure or to safeguard good nutritional diet and educational status. The scheme is the largest school feeding programme in the world, with the objectives to ensure nutritional health, and to reduce dropouts and to give education to provide healthy and optimum life.
The scheme covers Government, Local Body and Government aided primary and upper primary schools, EGS & AIE Centres and Madarsaas and Maqtabs supported under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan. With its long dated back history and years of struggle, the problem is in improper implementation of Mid-day meals in school.
Objectives and Challenges – Today, the project has been imposed with certain objectives to attain, through effective agency and institution and to resolve problems and challenges coming in between. Mid-day meal was projected for some vital change in society to have new slant of education and new angle to healthy and nutritional life among children.
Expenditure – Proposed expenditure of Govt. of India for 2016-2017 is 9700 crores for mid-day meals which is been reduced from earlier years. It’s good to realise that where to waste money. Yes! I said waste money. Today with this budget, Govt. of India has secured 3.34 rs for primary school students and 5 rupees for upper school students. Is it enough for school faculties to retreat money from this sum? Whatever thence remains, goes to children all-around development and nutritional values plus educational status. There is less than Rs. 3 for an developing child, and so is it a toffee meal and nutritional meal?
Therefore, a proper enforcing agency is required.
Nutritional Status – The objective of the Mid-day meal programme is to achieve proper nutritional diet along whole day. The provision is of uniform nutrition for the children at 300 calories per day with 1215 grams of protein (100 grams of cereal, 10 grams of dal and 5 grams of edible oil), but such is not enough because the American heart association says there should be 800-900 cal per day. Is this a proper nutritional diet system? This intake would never increase a nutritional status as well as as education status.
Educational Status – To premature developing child, the most significant thing is learning. We learn at every moment of life but according to doctors, an individual growth is maximum during age of 0-8 years. What he learns becomes ingrained part of his whole life in that period. Thus assuring a good neuro-muscular co-ordination should be checked and indubitably should be presented before committees. People are now tending towards private school even for nursery period. WHY? A good question on India Govt. and Opposition as wells. Because they are ensuring a good neuromuscular coordination among children. But no Govt. school is taking consideration for the same and hence it has become futile to say increase in educational status of children. A real is totally different and dark .
PROBLEMS AND INFERENCE
It was also recognised that the scheme had certain inherent problems such as possibilities of leakage, inadequacy of buildings, non- attendance of teachers, participation by non-school going children, abuse by those in charge, etc. It was, however, presumed that the problems would get addressed as the programme got moving. The Planning Commission prepared a set of guidelines for implementation of the scheme during the seventh Five Year Plan. This is in Annexure-I.
However, the programme was not approved as part of the seventh Plan, nor were proposals taken up for consideration during the annual plans, apparently due to resource constraints.
MID-DAY meal is good and marvellous project designed by Govt of India but today what we need is to pose an effective implementation agency through private institutions, along with NGOs.
1. Access at : http://www.teindia.nic.in/mhrd/50yrsedu/r/2V/7B/2V7B0301.html
2. Access at : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/bihar-govt-introduces-pulao-for-kids-in-mid-day-meal/1/613649.html
3. Access at : http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=70547
4. Access at : http://mdm.nic.in/
5. Access at : http://www.unicef.org/sowc2016/