Mid-day meal programme gets hurt

Mid-day meal programme in schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Zilla Parishad will also be affected by the recent Central government decision to put hospitals and school mid-day meals under the non-subsidised category.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Published: October 7, 2012 4:53 am

Mid-day meal programme in schools run by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Zilla Parishad will also be affected by the recent Central government decision to put hospitals and school mid-day meals under the non-subsidised category.

Due to this,schools and hospitals will have to pay around Rs 1,165 for a cylinder,against Rs 421 they have been paying till now. There are about 83,350 students studying in around 300 schools run by PMC which get mid-day meal under the scheme.

Self-help groups that cook mid-day meals for the school have said it would not be possible for them to continue offering the service at subsidised rates if they have to pay the full price of LPG cylinders.

“On October 1,our suppliers told us they will not be able to provide us cylinders at subsidised rates. If we have to buy a cylinder at Rs 1,165,we will not be able to provide the meal at the current rates. Now,we get Rs 3.02 per student for Classes I to V and Rs 4.46 for Classes VI to VII for cooking and distributing the food. The funds that we get from the civic bodies to serve the meals will not be enough to cover the cost,” said Ragini Kamble,president of Savitri Bachat Gat Mahasang,a federation of self-help groups that provide mid-day meals to PMC-run schools.

The federation has also threatened to stop supplying food to the schools if the present condition persists.

“It’s getting increasingly difficult to get a cylinder even at commercial rates. Distributors are not supplying the cylinders at all. We will meet the PMC officials on Monday and will try to explain the situation to them,” said Kamble.

Pradeep Dhumal,president of PMC education board,and Dnyaneshwar Molak,joint municipal commissioner and in-charge of urban community development,said several self-help group representatives have approached them asking to intervene.

“I will raise the issue with PMC authorities on Monday,” said Dhumal.

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