February 4, 2009 3:09:13 am
Apart from studies,the municipal schools will also be maintaining a kitchen garden from now on. With attempts to cut down costs and develop in-house services,the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has brought together over eight departments to work for a complete transformation of kitchen activities under Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDM).
As a pilot project in eight schools,the Department of Parks and Gardens has planted ten saplings of drumsticks in each of these schools. With an intention to extend it in all schools,Director of Parks and Gardens,VMC,V Chikhalia,said,We have used a small section of the unused part of the school to grow vegetables and it will be maintained by the teachers themselves.
The idea of having a school kitchen-garden came up after it was noticed that proper vegetables are never bought. Most of the students suffer from iron deficiency and drumsticks are the best supplement for it. But on the pretext of lack of funds,poor quality vegetables are bought, said Vanisha Nambiar,project head of food modification in the MDM scheme.
The spices used and food will be under the scanner of the Food and Drug Laboratory. The Health Department will also check the health and hygiene maintained by the cooks.
The Gas Department will implant gas line connections in schools that are presently using cylinders and the Construction Department will repair the kitchens and the rodent infested storage rooms. All the extra amount needed for renovation will be shouldered by the VMC, said C M Makwana,deputy commissioner and chairman of the committee.
Third party to monitor scheme
To monitor the newly implemented mid-day meal menu and various other changes in municipal schools,the MDM department will involve a third party to keep a check on the health of students and quality maintained in every school. We need a third party that can give regular and unbiased updates of the proceedings and also submit a social audit report, said D H Shah,Deputy Collector of Mid-day Meal Scheme. The third party will be finalised by next month and is most likely to be an NGO.
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