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HRD Minister Pallam Raju Presides over Mid Day Meal Scheme

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HRM Presides over Mid Day Meal Scheme
The HRD Minister Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju reviewed the Mid Day Meal Scheme in New Delhi last evening. The top officials of Health and Family Welfare, Rural Development, Tribal Affairs, Youth Affairs, Minorities Affairs, Drinking and Water and Sanitation attended the meeting.

During the two hour meeting, the speakers, stressed on the need of convergence of services at the village level and better monitoring.

Participating in the meeting the Supreme Court appointed Commissioner Prof. N. C. Saxena said that the main problem is about supply chain which includes the poor quality of grain given by the Food Corporation of India and late payments to the school management committee.

He said the cooks do not get salaries in time for months and kids being deprived of vegetables in their meals.

The Health Secretary, Sh. K. Desiraju suggested that the mechanism should be explored to utilize over 8 lakh Asha workers in villages to get their support for monitoring the quality and hygiene of the meal.

The Chairman of the Food Security and Standard Authority of India suggested that his organization has more than 300 accredited labs across the country which can be utilized for testing foods.

He also suggested that the Authority can be utilized at the District level for maintenance of quality, hygiene and safety. A suggestion was also made that voluntary youth organization like NSS can also be utilized in monitoring.

The voluntary organizations like Akshya Patra and Naik Foundation offered to train cooks on the vital issues affecting the Mid Day Meal Scheme.

The Union HRD Minister, Dr. Raju said we should explore the possibility of involving youth in the Mid Day Scheme. He also favoured the use of local food like Ragi, Jawar and Maize in Mid Day Meal for their nutritious values.

The Secretary, School Education, Sh. R. Bhattacharya said that the Ministry is trying to encourage Kerala Model of e-payment so that money can be transferred to SMC in real time.

PIB

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