NEW DELHI: Some states have cold-shouldered a suggestion by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry to serve midday meals prepared by jail inmates in schools. The Centre, in a letter to states some time ago, had asked for their feedback on the proposal based on a kitchen being run within a jail in Chandigarh for an Aanganwadi scheme.
“We had asked the states for their views on whether adopting a similar or modified model to the Chandigarh pilot can work for the midday meal scheme,” an official in the school education and literacy department said. “But the three states who have responded to our communiqué so far are not open to the idea.”
“The idea had come following discussions on how this concept of using kitchens within jails can serve a dual purpose. Not only can the wide space available in some prison compounds serve as infrastructure for midday meal kitchens but the move could also provide a novel channel to utilise the energy of inmates for a noble cause,” the official added. “We are now hoping that at least some other states see merit in the proposal.”The midday meal scheme is one of the largest schemes run by the HRD ministry.