DEHRADUN: Around 1.38 lakh students of government schools in Uttarakhand did not get any food amidst ongoing lockdown in the month of April and May 2020 under mid-day meal scheme with union humar resource development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank's Parliamentary constituency Haridwar topping the list.
The most number of children who were not provided food or allowances belonged to Haridwar district of the hill state where out of the total 1,53,006 students enrolled in 1,073 schools, only 1,22,405 students were provided food leaving 30,601 students without getting any benefits from the scheme.
The documents also revealed that the state government provided rations to children only on 48 out of the 66 working days between March 13 to May 17, 2020. Food was provided to students on 14 days in March, 21 days in April and 13 days in May.
In the month of March, all 689,437 students in 17,045 schools were provided food from the mid-day meal scheme.
At present, there are total 689,437 students in 17,045 state government schools across Uttarakhand. Out of these, 4,05,009 are in primary schools while 2,84,428 are in upper primary level schools.
Out of these, only 5,51,550 students received food security allowance under mid-day meal scheme during the month of April and May while 1,37,887 students in the state were left out from any benefits.
In Dehradun district, where lies the state assembly constituency of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, 14,659 children in 1,390 did not receive any food or allowances under the scheme.
The rules and regulations of the scheme under Section 9 state that if the mid-day meal is not provided in school on any school day due to nonavailability of food grains, cooking cost, fuel or absence of cook-cum-helper or any other reason, the state government will pay food security allowance equal to the cost of quantity of food grains.
Udham Singh Nagar district ranked second in terms of students deprived of food under the scheme with 22,596 children in 1,276 schools not getting any benefit. Out of total 1,12,982, only 90,385 children were provided with food security allowances.
In Nainital district, 11,940 children in 1,397 schools did not receive food security allowance under the mid-day meal scheme.
In Almora, out of total 41,234 students in 1,762 schools, only 32,987 students were provided food security allowance in the duration of May and April 2020.
Earlier, on March 20, 2020, a letter was written to to all state governments and Union Territories of the country by union ministry of human resource development (MHRD) had instructed to ensure food or allowances while the schools remain closed due to Cover 19 epidemic.
Union HRD ministry was contacted for the response on the matter but of no avail.