CUDDALORE: Dhanalakshmi is not a teacher, but she plays a crucial role in bringing children to the government school in Nallur. A mid-day meal cook, she has been forced to change her routine after summer kicked in. Dhanalakshmi’s morning chores usually begin with collecting water for her house, but with water scarcity affecting most parts, she now has to fetch water for mid-day meal too.
“Like me, several mid-day meal cooks are walking long distances to fetch water. However, we use only purified water for cooking meals,” says Dhanalakshmi. Over one lakh students are dependent on free mid-day meals at government schools in Virudhachalam, Nallur and Managalur.
A teacher of a government school in Virudhachalam said cooks were facing enormous difficulties in fetching water. An official of the Education department said, “So far, we have not received any information on difficulties faced by cooks. We will look into the matter and appraise the collector.”