Mayawati shoots letter to PM on Mid-day meal scheme

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Lucknow, Oct 24 (UNI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati today sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointing out 'faulty management' in the voluminous Mid-Day meal scheme, suggesting changes in the system.

''While reviewing the centrally-sponsored Mid-Day meal scheme, I found the management of the same as 'defective' hence I suggested changes,'' she told a press conference here this evening at her official residence.

Ms Mayawati said the meals being served to children were being prepared with sub-standard food grains and oils etc adversely affecting the health of children.

In the letter, UP CM has said that after enquiry, the use of sub-standard food material had come to light which resulted in the sickness of children in several cases.

She said that the distribution of pre-cooked, ready-to-eat and frozen food had been suggested to the Centre. Fruits should also be included in the Mid-day meal menu, she has suggested.

In the present system, the food grains were supplied by Food Corporation of India (FCI) while edible oil was purchased at the local level.

Ms Mayawati has suggested supply of packaged quality edible oil to be supplied by some central agency. ''If the Supreme Court's permission is required in it, it should be done at the ealiest,''the letter to PM said.

The UP CM said until the Central government did not accept these suggestions, the state government had taken urgent measures in the inetrest of children. ''The Chief development Officers(CDOs) and Basic Shiksha Adhikari (BSA) have been made responsible for successful implementation of the scheme at the district level putting a ban on purchase of loose oil and ghee, ''she said.

Besides, Ms Mayawati said that all the officers had been directed to inspect the Mid-day meal twice a week and set up parent-teachers' associations to check the quality of the food.

UNI

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