Kolkata: The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR) has sought a report from the education department on Wednesday after it found that only boiled rice and salt was being served to primary students at a school in the Hooghly district.
WBCPCR’s intervention came after BJP MP from Hooghly, Locket Chatterjee, during a surprise visit to Balika Bani Mandir in Chinsurah's Ghatakpara on August 19 found that only salt and boiled rice was being served to 400 students as a part of the mid-day meal scheme.
While going through the food items listed in the menu, Locket found that the students were supposed to get soyabean curry, boiled rice and dal on Monday. They were, however, served a measly meal of rice and salt.
On Tuesday, a team of officials from the WBCPCR visited the school to inspect the situation. They are slated to submit their report to the WBCPCR chairperson on Wednesday.
Speaking to News18, Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborty, Chairperson of WBCPCR said, “This is really unfortunate and we have sought a report from the state education department. Today, I will get a report from my team members who visited the school yesterday. Based on that, future action will be taken.”
Earlier, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee alleged that she had received several complaints regarding the mid-day meal being served in the school. “Therefore, today I decided to pay a surprise visit. I was shocked to see that school students are only being given boiled rice with salt. It is not only shameful but also condemnable,” Locket had said.
She also alleged that nearly 257 sacks of rice were missing while 5000 eggs worth Rs 25,000 was purchased but never served to the students.
Meanwhile, state education minister, Partha Chatterjee termed the incident as unfortunate and said that an inquiry is taking place into the matter. "A departmental probe has been ordered as we believe in zero tolerance in such cases where small children are affected. We will take stern action against the guilty persons.”
He also requested BJP not to politicise the issue and ordered strict monitoring of mid-day meal scheme in all the schools in the state.