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Central team complains of threat calls during mid-day meal inspection

A Central monitoring team which found certain anomalies during the inspection of mid-day meal scheme in Uttar Pradesh,has complained about threat calls to one of its members.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow |
April 11, 2011 2:07:01 am

A Central monitoring team which found certain anomalies during the inspection of mid-day meal scheme in Uttar Pradesh,has complained about threat calls to one of its members.

The team sent by the Union Human Resource and Development ministry and headed by Gaya Prasad,director,Mid-day meal,Government of India,had last week visited four districts namely Aligarh,Shravasti,Jalaun and Sant Ravidas Nagar (also known as Bhadohi).

Now,Prasad has complained to the state Education department that one of his team members Dr Anandita Shukla had received threat calls last week after her visit to schools in Bhadohi. While senior officials of the Education department have asked the District Magistrate Bhadohi to look into the matter,DM says nothing can be done until Ministry provides them the said phone numbers.

“Different teams had gone to different districts from April 6 to April 8 to monitor the implementation of the Mid-day meal scheme. One of our consultants,Anandita Shukla,headed the team that went to Bhadohi. On April 8,she received three threat calls from different cell numbers asking her not to mention any anomalies in her report or be ready for bad consequences. She informed us when we came back to Delhi and we immediately approached the state officials in this regard. They have assured us that district magistrate has been asked to look into the issue,” said a senior official of the HRD ministry.

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He added,“Anandita received three calls but she did not save the numbers. Since,she had visited only Bhadohi district,we have asked the state government to take immediate action on the NGOs working there against the rules.”

When contacted,Kanchan Verma,District Magistrate,Sant Ravidas Nagar,said,“Since the team has failed to provide us the numbers from which the calls had come,we cannot do much into it. Though,we have asked the team members to inform us when such calls come again. As far as action against NGOs is concerned,we have not received any official report from the team. Further action can be taken once the official report comes to us.”

During inspection in Sant Ravidas Nagar,the Central team had found that non-government organisations were given the task of cooking Mid-day meal in primary and upper primary schools of rural as well as urban areas. Though,as per the provisions of the scheme,NGOs can be given such responsibility only in urban areas.

A team member said senior officials of the Union Ministry would be writing to the state government to look into the issue. “Even the quality of the food was not good. So there is no point in allowing such NGOs to continue.” said a member.

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