Two days after authorities found a large number of rotten eggs in a consignment for schools in Ambur, Social Welfare Minister B Valarmathi on Tuesday declared that stern action would be taken against officials who fail to inspect the quality of food and eggs supplied to school children under the government’s noon meal scheme.
After a review meeting with officials of Block Development Office, Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) and Social Welfare Department at the Collectorate, Valarmathi said, “We have given strict orders to officials implementing the noon meal schemes to follow all rules and regulations to provide quality food to children. There cannot be any compromise on the quality of the food.”
Valarmathi conducted a surprise check at Hasnath-E-Jaria Girls Higher Secondary School, a government-aided school in Ambur and a primary school in Madhanur on Tuesday. The inspection was the fallout of Sunday’s incident when officials found a large number of rotten eggs among a consignment of 15,000 eggs supplied by the Madhanur BDO to around 20 schools in Ambur.
Tamil Nadu is one of the States in the country that is implementing noon meal scheme efficiently, the minister said adding, “We have directed schools not to receive eggs without labels supplied under the scheme. The officials have also been instructed to check the quality of eggs while receiving it from suppliers and before dispatching it to schools.” She also instructed the officials to educate the noon meal organisers, cooks and their helpers to keep stock rooms and kitchens clean.
On introduction of variety rice and multiple dishes in noon meals, the minister said the project has been implemented in several districts on pilot basis. Based on the response, it would be implemented across TN.
Collector P Sankar said that 20 officials in the rank of additional director and Deputy Collector have been designated to inspect schools in 20 blocks in the district and review the state of such institutions and anganwadi centres. “We have directed each official to inspect schools and anganwadis in the blocks assigned to them. They have been asked to submit a report by Tuesday,” the Collector said.
After Sunday’s incident, the district administration sent a notice to the supplier of the eggs. The district administration suspended the junior assistant of the BDO, Madhanur, D Balaiya and initiated a departmental inquiry against the deputy block development officer S Sivaprakasam.