STATE PANCHAYAT and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Wednesday welcomed the Centre’s latest decision to not deprive children without Aadhaar cards the benefits of mid-day meals in schools. After facing strong criticism from the Opposition, the Narendra Modi government on Tuesday said that while Aadhaar enrolment will continue, benefits would not be denied to anyone.
Watch What Else Is Making News
“Although it is a bit late to arrive at such a decision, it seems that good sense has finally prevailed on the Centre. It is good that the step to make Aadhaar mandatory for mid-day meal programmes has been withdrawn immediately. One should not snatch away food from children in schools in the first place,” Mukherjee said on the sidelines of International Women’s Day celebrations by the Panchayat and Rural Development department in Kolkata.
The ruling Trinamool Congress was one of the first political parties to voice its opposition to the Centre’s earlier decision that made Aadhaar mandatory for mid-day meal schemes.
While the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had slammed the Centre and accused it of snatching the rights of the poor, the party’s Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien had given a notice in Parliament for a discussion on this.
On Tuesday, slamming notifications issued by various ministries of the Union government pushing for Aadhaar enrolment in order to avail benefits under welfare schemes, several civil society activists pointed out that the directives were creating barriers, especially for women and children, in accessing legal entitlements.