The Mid Day Meal Programme
When you are hungry, the mind hardly functions. It is a simple concept based on which the concept of mid day meal programme was laid down. By eradicating the problem of hunger among children, the government of India aims to enhance school enrolment and school retention. But it is a long process and to date, there are many challenges faced by the school administration as well as the government itself.
Considering the study of professor Amartya sen’s Pratichi Research Team, it was found that the mid day meal has increased the enrolment and attendance of children in schools. The best outcome was that the majority of the increment was from the SC/ST categories. Yes, there are many achievements but you can’t ignore the challenges.
Let's discuss the most common problems or challenges faced while implementing the mid day meal programme!
Delay Of Payments
There can be seen delays in the payment of mid day meal staff, including the cooks and the assistants. This ultimately affects the productivity of the workers.
Maintaining The Quality Of Food –
When it comes to preparing mid day meals for the entire school on a daily basis, it includes the preparation of food in large quantities for hundreds of students. As a result, there is always a chance of a mistake or an error. It is not possible to cook food with full accuracy on a daily basis. Sometimes, there might be overcooked rice or tasteless dals. It is quite normal. However, the administration is trying to do regular monitoring of cooked food so that these types of cases can be minimized.
Food Wastage – Another Problem
There is a fixed chart of food items that will be cooked on specific days. All the students have to eat that. Yes, there are many kids who don’t like eating rice or certain vegetables. As a result, they throw their food or leave it on the plates. All of this leads to food wastage. To tackle this, the teachers have to pay attention while kids are having their meals. There is a need to teach students the value of food too.
The Nutrition Factor
Many people have this mindset that the government is providing the mid day meal but that is not nutritious. This is not true. To ensure that every student is getting the exact amount of proteins, vitamins, and micronutrients, the government has made some guidelines to be followed by all the schools.
Embezzlement Of Money
You won’t believe it, but the problem of fake enrolments is always there. This leads to a financial problem for the government as the cases are rising year after year.
Yes, these are some of the challenges in front of the government. However, necessary initiatives have been taken to overcome the issues so that students feel motivated to enroll in schools and retain their enrollment.
It is hard to believe but many children from the poor sections of society end up having the mid day meal as their only meal for the day. Yes, it is true. This is the reason why this school meal program has become more important than ever for growing children. Many food NGOs are also collaborating with the government to meet the basic needs of the pupils.