‘Govt schools must start kitchen gardening’
Ranchi, Mar 4: Padma Shri Ashok Bhagat has been chosen as one of the members of the newly constituted central empowered committee on mid-day meal scheme in February. The secretary of Vikas Bharti tells TOI’s Dhritiman Ray about how manpower crisis is affecting the MDM scheme and about his NGO’s check dam initiative in the state.
You were chosen as a committee member for your experience in the education sector. What fallacies in the current MDM scheme, especially in Jharkhand?
One of the major hindrances in Jharkhand is shortage of manpower. There are schools in remote areas which have 100 or more students and only one teacher. Now, these teachers are responsible for cooking and serving meals, besides teaching. As a result, nutrient value of the the food served is being compromised. The second major concern is hygiene. Since we have been working in 4,000 schools for nearly two decades, we have a first-hand knowledge. The kitchens of most of the schools are dirty and the cooks lack basic sense of hygiene.