Bangalore, July 27: Why is only the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar being attacked over the recent midday meal fiasco? Yes of course, the death of 23 children is a major tragedy but apart from that, is there any other reason to say only Bihar has failed to implement the scheme flawlessly?
Ever since the Chhapra tragedy occurred, instances of discovering insects, lizards, tadpoles and snakes have been found in midday meals in various states of the country. The latest is the discovery of an insect in the midday meal in a school in Odisha's Ganjam district.
One won't feel surprised if another Bihar-like tragedy occurs in another state tomorrow, which will shift the focus on to some other chief minister, whether a Congress or BJP, and the usual political war will break out.
Amid all this, those poor and innocent souls who go to school to get their stomachs filled to live another day and pursue a human ambition, will remain forgotten. What a pity!
But can we just make some effort to turn things around? The southern states have been successful in implementing one of the largest welfare exercises in the world called midday meal scheme and if they can, why can't some of the others who have messed it up completely?
No programme can succeed until the human element takes complete care of it. Contaminated and rotten food items, unhygienic kitchen conditions, unsatisfactory food quality, improper supply of food items which results in breeding of insects in the stored grain, have made midday meal a death threat to school children whereas there are instances of schools providing fruits and even mango shakes to the students. If that can be done, why not a minimum standard of food quality can be maintained?
The media goes on breaking news every second day since the Chhapra tragedy about something or the other discovered in the food containers. Hopefully they won't broadcast one day that vegetables have been found in midday meal!