UP looks up to Tamil Nadu to improve mid-day meal

The state government is all set to take lessons from Tamil Nadu government for the efficient functioning of mid-day meal scheme.

Written by Neha Attre | Lucknow | Published:March 9, 2009 3:35 am

The state government is all set to take lessons from Tamil Nadu government for the efficient functioning of mid-day meal scheme.

A team of around 25 officials comprising cooks,Basic Shiksha Adhikari and District Co-coordinators involved in providing food to the students,will be sent to Tamil Nadu by the end of this month to study the management of the system.

“We have selected Tamil Nadu as the system there is considered one of the oldest and most efficient. So,we are sending our team there to assess the functioning of the system,” said Santosh Rai,Additional Director,Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Authority.

In Tamil Nadu,the meals not only have more nutritive value,but the entire scheme works independently at the school-level.

“The scheme there functions in a meticulous manner. Each school has its own independent management committee of a cook,a helper,and even an organiser. The job of the organizer is to ensure the smooth functioning of the scheme in the school,” said a senior MDM official.

The team will be visiting various schools in Chennai and adjoining areas for over a week to study the execution of the scheme. They will also study their concept of addressing the problem of food starvation along with the mid day meal in the concerned area.

Similarly,the system there also helps in fixing the accountability of the person,thus ensuring a better management of the system. “Here,several instances have shown lapses in the management of the system but fixing accountability is a problem. The system is comparatively transparent in Tamil Nadu,” the MDM official further said.

Earlier,an external evaluation done by Indian Institute of Management – Lucknow (IIM-L) revealed various lapses in the functioning of the mid-day meals in Uttar Pradesh. While the meals were not nutritious,anomalies like poor student-teacher ratio and infrastructure in most schools also affects the quality of the food being served.

Even the recent evaluation of mid-day meal scheme in schools of Sitapur and Lucknow district by officials of Union Human Resource Development ministry revealed lacunae — like food not being given to the students,unhygienic cooking methods and registration of fake attendance.

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