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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Delhi: Child rights commission finds North MCD did not distribute dry ration to school children for 17 months

The DCPCR has demanded a reply to be filed within two weeks, “failing which the Commission will be constrained to initiate proceedings”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 3, 2021 3:29:41 pm
The Commission said it has been “deeply concerned about the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on children, particularly from a nutritional standpoint”. (File photo)

The Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) issued a notice to the Director (Education) of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for not allocating dry ration as mid-day meal in its schools.

“North MCD has not distributed dry ration as mid-day meal to lakhs of children in its 700 schools. This is serious deprivation of rights of the children, more so in times of pandemic. Taking a serious view, @DCPCR has issued notice to Director (Education) seeking explanation!” DCPCR Chairperson Anurag Kundu tweeted Friday.

“The Commission has been deeply concerned about the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on children, particularly from a nutritional standpoint. Considering the schools have been shut for nearly 17 months now, non-supply of nutritional supplements may lead to large scale malnourishment. Similar observation has been made by the Supreme Court which said there is a need to evolve a uniform policy so as to ensure the pandemic does not adversely affect the children and their nutritional supplements provided,” DCPCR member Ranjana Prasad in a notice dated September 1 said. A copy of the notice has also been marked to the North MCD Commissioner.

The DCPCR cited guidelines by the Government of India and orders by the government of NCT of Delhi in this regard.

“Taking suo-motu cognisance of the matter, the Commission inquired into the status of the implementation of these orders, issued in compliance with the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s order and issued notice to the Government of NCT of Delhi directing it to file its reply. Based on the records and reply filed by the Government of NCT of Delhi, the Commission noticed the North MCD has not lifted food grains meant for allocation to children of primary grades despite multiple communication from Govt of NCT of Delhi,” the notice said.

“Consequently, lakhs of children enrolled in the North MCD schools have been deprived of their mid-day meal, threatening their nutritional status. Prima-facie, this is a serious governance lapse and the Commission has decided to take up the matter seriously. Now, therefore, the Commission has decided to hold inquiry into it and fix administrative liability for the lapse and therefore, issues notice to the Director (Education), North MCD directing it to file an explanation as to why the Commission should initiate proceedings against it,” it said.

The DCPCR has also demanded a reply to be filed within two weeks, “failing which the Commission will be constrained to initiate proceedings”.

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