Mid Day Meals in India

India is a country of diversity and great food, this country has marked its heritage and roots of ancient Aryan culture and includes a rich blend of cultures, traditions and living standards. But despite of its great historical background, it now suffers from lack of resources, both economy and food ones. UNICEF and the Global Health Database show that by 2016 around 33 percent of Indian children will be malnourished. India currently has more malnourished children than sub-Saharan Africa and half of all child deaths are a result of malnutrition.

This situation has worsened over the years owing to market inflation and increasing corruption in its areas. Boys from the poor family have been sought to work on the fields, while girls at a young age are taught how to carry on household works and get married as the marriages in India are predominantly arranged. The situations haven’t changed in all these years despite of previous efforts of leaders who brought worldly wisdom and Renaissance to our country including great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi. Though the government seems to take apt measures, including- giving temptations of free food, the stats haven’t shown a wide remarkable enrollment of children in primary schools and provision of additional funds to solely focus on child education, the situation hasn’t improved over the course of time. “India is home to the world’s largest food insecure population, with more than 500 million people who are hungry”, India State Hunger Index (ISHI) says. The statistical tool for classification of Hunger has place India GHI as 29:GHI between 34.9 and 20 is a serious hunger situation

With lack of monitoring due to the presence of many layers of government, unhygienically cooked and under-nutritious food, has led to severe declination in the health status among children. Recent deaths and food poisoning have been reported owing to contaminated food given to children.

According to the CAG report “Lack of requisite funds and cooking costs not being revised has led to a shortage of food available to the children.”

Farzana Afridi of Syracuse University and the Delhi School of Economics claimed that the program has “reduced the daily protein deficiency of a primary-school student by 100 percent, the calorie deficiency by almost 30 percent and the daily iron deficiency by nearly 10 percent. “

Fraudulent practices have been found out when the Inspection of the midday meal schools had a huge discrepancy in the enrollments contrary to the actual figures. These practices are done to extract more money from the Government. cooks are not receiving pay and food is not being delivered or being wasted are other such problems.

Corruption has an adverse effect over MDMS: The raw products provided by the government at low prices are sold to the shopkeepers to earn a hefty profit.

Lack of support given to the NGOs has further debarred them to do anything for these children.

Impact of MDMS on Regions in India; In Chhattisgarh the provision of midday meals seems to have been somewhat half-hearted, both financially and politically.

In the Varodara study, they found that regular consumption of MDM was not observed. Nearly 9{b8199d4e76d5c4c4a9fa89ec04f495f77a40e6e04d2b7b455e3b26e8fd6a6d2e} of the students did not consume the MDM at all.

In July, 2013, 23 children from the Indian state of Bihar died as a result of unsafe food preparation.

12 students in the Buxar district became sick, 33 students in Vaishali and 25 students in Siwan, all during the month of July.

The schools in the rural village of Karulihai in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh haven’t received a food delivery since November 2013.

In Tamil Nadu, midday meals seem to enjoy all-round support from the village community. Teachers, too, are enthusiastic.

It is difficult to ascertain the future of these children if the conditions similar to these prevail.

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