Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari, on Wednesday, has said that the journalist who exposed the poor quality of mid-day meals at an Uttar Pradesh school should be honoured by the Yogi Adityanath-led Uttar Pradesh government.
Tiwari told ANI, "The state government should honour the journalist for his coverage on the quality of food given to students under the mid-day meal scheme." While speaking for the BJP, he also said, “The Uttar Pradesh government will take action against the officers responsible for the poor quality of food. BJP will never protect someone who has done something wrong.”
The district authorities initiated an inquiry into the poor quality food in mid-day meals. However, a case was also registered against the journalist who made a video of the incident that went viral on social media and stirred an outrage all over the nation.
Everything started when on August 22, children in a primary school in Hinauta village were served chapatis and salt instead of vegetable or pulses along with milk and fruit for their lunch as part of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government in regards to the Mid-Day Meal Scheme controversy. It has also asked the Chief Secretary of the state to produce a detailed report on the matter in four weeks. It has also sought details of the status of mid-day meals across the state in government and government-aided primary schools.
Calling the contents of the video “shocking and disgraceful,” the panel had agreed that the children are being deprived of nutritious meal despite the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The panel had further observed that the Supreme Court, in 2001, had passed an order stating that a prepared mid-day meal with a minimum of 300 calories and 8-12 grams of protein each day for a minimum of 200 days is a basic entitlement of every child in every government and government-assisted primary school.
The NHRC statement also said that the Centre, in consonance with the objectives set forth by the Supreme Court, has designed to improve the school meal programme under the Mid-Day Meal Scheme. The Scheme aims to provide nutritious food to school-age children nationwide, and that a majority of the population in India is still unable to get at least one square meal a day.
Under the flagship nutrition scheme, the students are to be served pulses, rice, chapatis, vegetables, along with fruit and milk on certain days, to ensure necessary nutrition.