JAGATSINGHPUR: Students of government-run schools in Jagatsinghpur are not getting their share of 100 grams of rice under the mid-day meal (MDM) scheme. Apparently, the agencies transporting MDM rice from godowns to the schools have been accused of embezzling the stocks.
According to reports of the School and Mass Education Department, MDM is being implemented in 1,593 schools, including 722 upper primary schools. About 95,000 students are benefiting from the scheme annually in Jagatsinghpur district. As per MDM rules, each student of primary school is to be provided 100 grams of rice under noon meals.
In upper primary school, a student has to get 150 grams of rice. Even as the State Government provides the required amount of MDM rice to godowns, the exact stock does not reach the schools. As a result, each child only gets 60 to 70 grams of rice. Although some villagers and educationists have informed the local officials concerned in this regard, no corrective measures are being taken.
Currently, three transportation agencies are in charge of supplying MDM rice from the godowns to schools. One agency supplies rice to schools in four blocks of Balikuda, Kujang, Tirtol and Ersama while another provides the stock to schools in Jagatsinghpur block. The third agency supplies rice to schools in three blocks of Raghunathpur, Naugaon and Biridi.
Locals alleged that these agencies, allegedly in connivance with school officials, are embezzling 4 to 5 kg of rice from each 50 kg rice bag.
District Education Officer Kapilendra Mishra said although he is aware of such misappropriation, no official complaint in this regard has been filed yet.