Kolkata: During a surprise visit to a Chinsurah school on Monday, Hooghly BJP MP Locket Chatterjee was in a state of shock to find that salt and boiled rice was being served to nearly 400 students as a mid-day meal.
While going through the menu of Balika Bani Mandir in district's Ghatakpara, Locket found that over 400 students were supposed to get soyabean curry, boiled rice and dal. But instead, were served only boiled rice and salt.
Speaking to media persons, Locket said, “For the last few months, I have been receiving complaints regarding mid-day meal scam in this school. Today, I decided to pay a surprise visit. I was shocked to see that school students were having only boiled rice with salt. It is not only shameful but also condemnable.”
She alleged that nearly 257 sacks of rice are missing while 5,000 eggs worth Rs 25,000 were purchased but never served to the students. “Our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is boasting about the ‘Kanyashree’ project but the ground reality is her party leaders are knee-deep in corruption and looting money and ration meant for mid-day meal,” she added.
Locket demanded a high-level inquiry into the matter and said that stern action should be taken against those involved in the scam. During interaction, a section of students alleged that they are often served boiled rice and salt and therefore, they prefer not to have lunch in schools.
When contacted Chairman of Hooghly-Chinsurah Municipality, Gouri Kanta Mukherjee, he said, “All the allegation are baseless and it is a conspiracy against us. I will inquire about the matter and will summon four teachers who were given the responsibility of mid-day meal.”
The Midday Meal Scheme is a school meal programme of the Government of India. Under this scheme, free lunches were provided to children in primary and upper primary classes in government, government aided schools. The scheme was launched in 1995 and it is covered under the National Food Security Act, 2013.